Jim Reed is approaching his 10th year serving as pastor of Poteau, Southside. Overall, he has been in ministry 34 years. Twenty-two of those years he served as a multi-vocational pastor while fielding other occupations such as a firefighter, a paramedic and as a carpenter.

“In reality, if you are faithful to your calling in the ministry God has given you,” Reed said, “it is full time, whether you are bi-vocational or considered full time.”

Reed said he has seen God do amazing things at Southside. “We are looking toward the future with excitement and anticipation to see what God has in store,” he said.

A ministry that he said is dear to his heart is mentoring other pastors. He has mentored several men who were called to preach, and many of these men are serving today as pastors, youth ministers or in evangelism or missions.

“Honestly, I don’t know how it started,” he said. “I think that God opened the door for this ministry because of some mentors I had as a young pastor. And I believe there is no one better to mentor young pastors than a pastor who has been in the ministry for several years. After all, it is our job to make disciples—who better to disciple pastors than pastors.”

Reed referenced Ecclesiastes 4 when asked why it is important for Southside to support the Cooperative Program. The passage emphasizes the importance of doing more together than alone. He said all the churches he has pastored have always contributed through the Cooperative Program.

“As the days around us continue to grow darker,” he said, “we need to work together, now more than ever, to seize the tremendous opportunities God has given us to share the Gospel for the cause of Christ.”