Ready to Serve
Updated: Dec 22, 2022
Your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he.
- Zechariah 9:9b
An Advent devotional prepared by the Biola University Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts centered on this art installation in the Chichester Cathedral in England. The artist has combined multiple canvases to create a 30 foot image of a spiral staircase. Most of us, as we contemplate this image from our modern day perspective, imagine climbing up, ascending to a higher place, going up to heaven.
It is surprising to discover that the title of the piece is Descent. While we tend to be consumed by the drive to climb up and ascend to higher authority and power, God constantly demonstrates His power and glory by descending. This work of art illustrates that as we attempt to climb up, we only get in Jesus’ way as He is constantly climbing down.
The message of Advent and the incarnation is that glory is not found in ascending to loftier goals, it is found in descending to service and sacrifice for the sake of others. At Christmas, Jesus' glory was demonstrated by the fact that He came down the staircase to serve and sacrifice for our sake. If we follow Him we will choose the same path and pursue a life of service and sacrifice for the people around us.
In August 2022, I accepted the call to serve as AEUNA Field Pastor. This is a brand new position for our Union and the scope of the ministry is still being defined day by day. As I begin, however, the thoughts I shared above are in the forefront of my mind. I come to this position as a servant, ready to give whatever I am able to benefit our churches and our pastors as we promote the mission of the AEUNA for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Since this position has not existed in the past, I would like to share some specifics about the ways in which I will be serving. The primary roles of the Field Pastor are to cultivate pastoral leadership for our churches, supervise the training/supervision of our In Care Candidates, support our ministry candidates as they transition into pastoral roles in our Union and provide encouragement to all our pastors as they serve our Churches.
Another aspect of the work will be to provide support, guidance and resources to our churches as they search for pastoral leadership, or consider ways to create growth and maintain relevance for younger people in their communities. In order to accomplish these goals, the Field Pastor must work closely with the AEUNA Ministry Committee implementing the policies and procedures outlined in the AEUNA Manual on Ministry.
Working closely under the leadership of our Minster to the AEUNA, Rev. Hendrik Shanazarian, I am ready to serve. I look forward offering any help I am able give to the churches/pastors who need my support.
I wish you all a blessed Christmas celebration and a healthy, happy New Year. I look forward to a fruitful year in 2023 as we all work together for the building up of God’s kingdom within our Armenian Evangelical Community.
- Rev. Ron Tovmassian - AEUNA Field Pastor