June 15, 2020by Reverend Dan on June 15, 2020
“And he gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and some teachers, to equip his people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
There is a unique relationship between a pastor and his or her congregation. I get to share your highs and your lows; from birth to death and everything in between. Public celebrations, private doubts, family crises and work issues. And just as we evolve personally, this relationship evolves as well. It’s rarely perfect, sometimes contentious, but it’s always encased in a kind of “bubble of grace”. I’ve had plenty of time to reflect while being “sheltered in place”, and I miss seeing my flock. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know a couple of things.
First, in the prayers you’ve said for me and my family and in the loving way you encourage me, please remember one thing: I’m just one of you. What I do doesn’t make me any more special than anyone else. I’m not in ministry because God shone a light down on me one day and I had an epiphany and figured out this thing called life. I do what I do because I feel called to do it by God. Lord knows, I never would have picked this vocation. I tried for years to resist “the call”, but every time I turned around, there was God saying, “You ready yet?” And finally, I caved.
I guess what I’m trying to say is while you say some awful nice things about me, don’t put me on a pedestal. Just let me be one of you. Lots of folks find comfort in scripture knowing God is present in their lives. I find comfort knowing that a lot of the main characters in the Bible were just as flawed as me. Peter’s denials, Paul’s persecutions, David’s indiscretions . . . and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, talking about the textbook definition of a dysfunctional family. Reading their stories reminds me that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. Perfect is not a requirement for ministry; God actually uses broken people the best. That’s what shot me to the top of the candidate list.
So, about that pedestal. It belongs to God and God alone, so let’s put Him on it. That’s His place. I’ll just hang out down here with y’all.
Second, and this one is the most important. I want you to know that I realize all you do for the church, and I’m very grateful for every one of you. I know you’re very busy with projects at work, but you still show up for the board meeting. I realize that you’d really like to go on vacation this year but you’re giving your tithes anyway. I admire that you have lots of things to do in your life, but you make time for the church.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is, “Thank you”. Sometimes I call on you to do things you don’t understand. (And to be honest, I’m doing things God calls on me to do that I don’t understand.) The good news is one day we will all stand before God and it will make sense. We’ll share a collective, “Ohhhhhhh. NOW I see.”
I am grateful for every one of you. I am grateful for the chance to be a pastor. And I’m grateful to be able to lead one body of this thing called “the church” that Jesus left us to steward. May all we do together honor and bring Him glory.
“Father, Thank you for the calling to serve you. And thank you for those with whom I share this call. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”