A Pastor of 2.5 Years

I have been a pastor for 2.5 years now. Such a short time. In so many ways I know that I have barely begun. Yet, there is still more to reflect upon than I am able to process. 

No place, and no person, is perfect, but this place, and these people (in other words: this church) are pretty awesome!

I am both blessed and privileged to work where I do. Our church has a great community, the other pastors are excellent people who both support and teach me, and I couldn't be more proud of the youth, young adults, and volunteers I get to work with. It seems they amaze me anew every couple of weeks. You would think I would get used to it, but somehow I never learn. 

As for me, well, being a pastor is right where I should be. When God called me into ministry I did not want to go, and I thought I had good reason. Speaking technically, I had a fear of public speaking, a disdain for history, and an utter lack of writing and English skills. Spiritually speaking, I was not what you would call 'pastor material' and upon hearing God call me into ministry I pulled a Jonah (RUN AWAY!).

Fear Demotivator

Praise the Lord, He has brought me through my idiocy and provided through my weakness. Now, you would think that with that as background I would have learned to depend on God and obey His wisdom. But if I am being honest, those are the two most important lessons I am still learning in these first 2+ years of ministry. To keep depending on God and obeying His wisdom. I am starting to think that I will never stop... Ok, I am convinced I will never stop learning those lessons. I suppose that is why the call to persevere rings out so loudly and frequently in scripture. 

Perseverance Demotivator

What else do I have to say for myself after so short a time? I suppose it depends on who I am talking to. 

Pastors, no matter what is happening during your 3rd year of ministry, you are only just beginning. Whether those are words of encouragement or despair depends on how you take it. I am only just beginning in that I have so much more to learn and so many areas to grow. I am only just beginning in that the relationships in this community have only just begun to deepen, and real fruit may be years away. These things I find encouraging. I am also only just beginning in that I will make far worse mistakes than I have made so far, face far worse trials and temptations, and go through much more difficult periods of struggle. This too I find encouraging, because I know from experience that it is these hard times which push me most towards God. 

People of BAC, thank you for bearing and being with me over the past 2.5 years. Your grace, encouragement, and fellowship have not gone unnoticed. I hope that you will continue to offer these things to me far into the future. For you, keep chasing God. We, as a community, have also only just begun. Last year we celebrated our 30th anniversary, but the same things I said about me apply to us. Our relationship with our community(ies) have only just begun, and we too will face more in the future. Allow it all to push you into God. 

Other readers, are you part of a good church? Not necessarily a flashy, or polished, or 'just right' kind of place, but a place of real fellowship, encouragement, challenge, and growth? Such a place will be messy, awkward, and uncomfortable at times. It will take love for you to stay. But you need such a place. If you don't have one, find one. There is nothing better. 

1 comment:

joan said...

When we stop learning, we stop leading!
Good to have you on board Andrew!