Chad Kaminski – A Good and Faithful Pastor
In the not so distant past I was thinking about all the Godly and solid pastors who are slogging away with little or no notoriety. We know about the many dead and living heroes who have thousands of Twitter followers and have prominent platforms, but what about the guy who is doing a great job with little or no fanfare? Don’t get me wrong, I thank God for the pastors and leaders who are faithfully serving and have broad influence to let us know about all the good things happening in their churches and ministries, but what about those who are serving in quiet faithfulness?
And then I had another thought: instead of those faithful and quiet pastors and leaders posting about their own ministry, what if someone else wrote about them. What if someone else sought to honor them and shared about their quiet faithfulness?
For example, I have a pastor friend who quietly and faithfully serves the Lord’s people in Allen, Oklahoma. I have known Chad Kaminski for almost twenty years. We first met at a university disciple now in Ada, Oklahoma. At the time, he was a student and I was his small group leader. I don’t remember a lot about our time together, and I don’t remember anyone else particularly, but I do remember Chad and that he was very intuitive and seemed to be a leader among his peers. Oh, and I think he challenged me a few times in front of the rest of the group. But as you will see if you keep reading, I am over it.
Fast forward to somewhere around the year 2010 when we crossed paths again, serving together on a Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) vision team. Since then Chad and I have built and maintained a friendship as fellow Oklahoma pastors. We interact regularly on social media and occasionally text and visit by phone.
I admire Chad for his faithfulness in one place. He still serves in his first pastorate and has loved the same body of Christ for almost 15 years. It appears to me that more pastors are staying in one place for longer stints, and I think that is a healthy trend, but 15 years in only one place is very impressive. He told me he has endured by being fed by mentors like Tim Keller, Mark Dever and D.A. Carson. Longevity has afforded Chad the opportunity to patiently preach and teach his people through some difficult transitions, moving them away from doctrines that are antithetical to the gospel and mission of Jesus.
During his tenure God has done a lot of work on Chad in moving him away from moralism to a more gospel-centered message and approach to ministry. When I asked him what he meant by this, he said that he now sees that the whole Bible is about Jesus and His saving work and everything in the Christian life flows from that. He said about his early preaching and teaching “I would tell my people that this passage teaches us to do this and not do that, but I would often fail to incorporate a Christ-driven understanding and motivation of the text. Everything flows from the gospel. If we tell people what to do or what not to do without telling them why they should do because of the gospel, then we are teaching them to be Pharisees who try to perform their way to a right standing with God.”
Chad told me that his favorite part of being a pastor is helping hurting people. “It is a delight to help them from the scriptures, showing them that God is for them and He is not grading their performance to see if they are good enough. I delight to apply the gospel to people’s difficulties.”
Like all of us, Chad has struggles in life and ministry. He admitted that he can be prone to make idols out of things he wants to accomplish as a leader, and he said it is hard to love people who seem to always want to keep you in check when trying to lead. He also noted that one of the biggest challenges he faces is trying to lead without “unraveling people” and not getting too frustrated so that the church can move forward to a better future while still keeping it together. Leading change and keeping people together is painstaking work.
Chad is a fantastic biblical thinker. He strategically uses Facebook to pastor his own people and others by writing posts that always start with: “A Few Thoughts On…” Some of the topics he has addressed are:
- Being Extra Tired
- Being the Main Guy
- The School Construction (in Allen)
- Paige Patterson and Battered Women
- Emotional Blackmail
- Ordinary Pastoral Struggles
I find Chad’s writing to be biblical, brave, clear and applicable.
Chad is also very witty as evidenced by a recent post about the royal wedding that many woke early to watch: “In 1776, I stopped caring about royal weddings.” Now I had not idea that Chad was that old, but I see his mind and found myself wondering what all the commotion was about since we Americans have moved onward and upward.
I have already alluded to this, but I very much admire Chad’s courage. Despite his telling me he does not like confrontation, I like that he is willing to go to bat for his convictions when he thinks an issue truly matters. Most recently he has been quite critical of Paige Patterson and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary because of the way they have handled a recent controversy surrounding comments by Patterson. I believe Chad’s criticism is valid, and I admire that he has the backbone to express it in a straightforward and substantive way.
Suffice it to say, I truly admire Chad and I hope it continues to quietly and faithfully serve the Lord Jesus and His people in Allen, Oklahoma. If the Lord should give him a larger church and bigger platform, I trust he will be faithful with it and thankful for it also.
If you are reading this, perhaps God will impress it upon your heart and mind to think of someone who is serving quietly and faithfully, but gets little or no recognition in ministry circles. Maybe instead of tweeting our own successes, you and I could do a better job of honoring and building others up. In the final analysis, the only applause that will matter in the end is that of the Lord Jesus Christ, but until then, maybe each of us could do our part to spur someone else on toward love and good deeds, building them up as a part of the Universal Church of Jesus Christ.