The Greatest Message My Dad Ever Preached
Joanna Kobernat serves on the GSBC staff. She is the firstborn daughter of Pastor Larry and Diane Brown of Washington, Iowa.
For me, growing up in a pastor’s home was a privilege that I appreciated as a child; and it is a heritage that I treasure as an adult.
I have four sisters and two brothers, and I believe that we would all tell you that Dad and Mom both made our home their highest priority. I have so many wonderful memories of the times we spent together. In many ways, we were no different than any other family. We enjoyed bike rides, ball games, canoe trips, campouts and shopping excursions. Dad always carefully guarded our family time, and one of the best times of the day was when he came home. Of course, his day off was the best of all! I can even remember times when he would take his lunch break to play ball with my brothers. Mom was always there, providing the greatest example of a godly wife and mother that anyone could ever ask for.
“Watching my parents truly care for people taught me so many lessons and principles many of which guide me today.”
My parents also tried to include us in the work of the ministry as often as possible. Whether it was helping Mom prepare treats for her Sunday school class or visiting hospitals with Dad, some of my favorite times were spent doing church work. We loved to take our turns going soul winning, visiting or even on a preaching trip. I even recall going to funerals! These trips not only provided special times with Dad, but they also taught me so much about the ministry. Watching my parents truly care for people taught me so many lessons and principles—many of which guide me today.
Perhaps the two character traits of my parents that have had the greatest impact on my life are faithfulness and consistency. I have seen their faithfulness, as for thirty-four years they have stayed in one place. There were good times and not-so-good times, easy times and hard times, times when people came and times when people left—yet Dad and Mom stayed faithful. God’s Word, His will, nor His work ever changed, regardless of how people or circumstances might change.
I saw consistency in their personal lives as they lived what they taught, both at our house and at the church house. There is no doubt that had I not seen the realness of my parents’ faith worked out in their everyday lives that I never would have wanted the ministry for my own family.
It was recently, while hearing him preach again, that I realized the greatest message Dad ever preached was not one he spoke—it was the one he lived. I am so thankful that I was there to see it.