Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Like a Good Neighbor

Some of the most interesting commercials on television currently are from insurance companies. Of course there’s Geico, Progressive, Nationwide, Allstate and a wide range of others. But I have become partial to State Farm. After all, like a good neighbor, State Farm is there! And that has been true for me.

During the past 6 months in which I have waited for God to give me clear direction on my next ministry assignment, I have had the privilege of logging some work hours at a State Farm agency in Wernersville, PA. It has been a wonderful experience. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that each 7 years or so, every pastor ought to have to take at least 3 months off of ministry and over this time frame work at least 20 hours a week for a non-church, non-religious organization. For me, working at State Farm has been a valuable experience in many ways.

First, I have learned a great deal about the world of insurance that I knew absolutely nothing about beforehand. Now I understand the differences between full tort and limited tort; stacking and non-stacking; as well as other arenas of the insurance agency. Anytime we become more knowledgeable in any area of life it becomes beneficial to us.

Second, I got to spend a lot of time talking with people. That was really what my job entailed. After I completed a lot of data-entry in updating the files in the system, my task was to call the literally hundreds of clients who were due or past-due for insurance reviews. Much of my day was spent on the phone talking to folks that I have never met before. It was a good and valuable experience for me to make the bulk of my day one-on-one conversations with people.

Third, I got to work day in and day out with some of the best insurance staff you will ever be able to meet. I grew to really enjoy every one of these individuals on staff. They are what made me look forward to making the 35-40 minute drive one way to the office each day. No day went by that we didn’t share a lot of laughter, and many times, some very serious conversations about life, the Bible, and God’s will for our lives. Enjoying what you do is important. But enjoying those you get to work with day in and day out is what makes the workforce a wonderful place to be!

Finally, it allowed me for the very first time to see life through the lens of the average person who will sit under my preaching and under my ministry as I move to Gaylord, Michigan this coming Thursday to become the new Senior/Lead Pastor at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church. Up until the last 6 months, the only work experience I have had since graduating from college has been inside the walls of the church. Folks, listen, working in the church and working outside of the church are as different as night and day. Now, I understand more what the typical person who will sit in church and listen to my sermons has experienced during their week. I have been able to walk in their shoes for the past 6 months and I do believe that it will change a part of how I prepare sermons in the future.

State Farm has been a “good neighbor” for me over these past 6 months. I am so thankful to the Lord for this experience and for the people I have experienced it with. By the way, if you live in Central Pennsylvania and are looking for insurance or financial services of any kind, or if you would like to save some serious money on your current insurance, contact the Randy Eshleman State Farm Agency in Wernersville, PA at 610-927-9000! You’ll be glad you did. This agency takes customer service to a level that will amaze you.

Be sure to read my other blog, “Hope For Hurting Pastors” at www.hurtingpastor.blogspot.com. You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at skdistler@gmail.com.


Carrie Sharpe said...

Hmmmm.... Next time you need to take a few months to experience life outside the church, may I suggest taking on Stay-at-Home-Motherhood of 5 children? I happen to know where you could find five wonderful children to borrow for this job, including twin 2-year-olds... Hee hee hee! Sounds like you had a great experience with that job; God is so good! Thanks for posting your experiences here for us to learn from and share in! :)

Bonnie said...

Thank you for sharing what the experience has meant to you. Now please let me have my turn! Your willingness to serve God wherever He placed you inspired me and gave me a fresh perspective on the opportunities that surround me every day. Your personal insight into my own life was pivotal in finding the next step of God's will for my own life. Thank you!

Pastor Scott said...

Carrie - I think I'll stick with the insurance world!!!!

Pastor Scott said...

Hi Bonnie! Thanks for your kind words. Your sweet spirit and your heart for Jesus are both so very amazing. Blessings to you as you continue to serve Him!

Anonymous said...


I love your post. Only an insurance person would be able to identify with full tort/limited tort, stacking and non-stacking!

Eric Barger
Hagerstown, MD

Pastor Scott said...

Thanks for reading and for commenting, Eric. Thank you also for your kind and encouraging email. Blessings to you and your part in the ministry at Maranatha!

Steve Haske said...

Hey Pastor Scott, If you ever feel the need to "get out of the office" again, I drive for UPS and we are always looking for helpers at Christmas time! See you Sunday at church.