I remember when I started pastoring my second church. I had the experience of my first church. I also had the experience of traveling as an evangelist for a few years, so now I understood people better. I was more prepared for ministry. Sure, I took some lumps in my first church, but who doesn’t? Going into my second church all I could see was how much better this congregation was. Finally, I had grown with experience and now I was in a good spot where we could really see some great growth! Right?? Wrong! During my first six months I realized the treasurer who had been the treasurer for forty years, wasn’t the nice old sweet man he appeared to be. He basically informed me multiple times in many ways he was in charge of this church. This as well as other troubling situations brought back sad memories of my first assignment. I was left wondering if I may be the problem. I didn’t understand why the same conflicts were happening- AGAIN! I called a close pastor friend of mine who advised me to talk with a mutual friend. He was also a pastor and was known for speaking hard truths when necessary. I gave him a call, and I will never forget this conversation. He asked me some questions about the church. (how old it was etc.) I explained to him about the power struggle with the treasurer and others. He then said something I will never forget. I wasn’t hurt by his statement, I was shocked. The irony is I knew down deep he was correct. “You’re in for a flogging, brother!” The reason this statement surprised me was because other than one other time (This is explained in part one) this was the only time someone was this honest with me about the reality before me. This was an experienced pastor explaining to me that at least for a while, things are not going to get any better.
I find it interesting how we are in such a result-oriented culture. Everything we do is based on results. As pastors we are measured by attendance. As bloggers we are measured by subscribers. As tweeters we are measured by followers. Do I believe in results? Absolutely. As followers of Jesus we are here to bring others to the faith. At the same time, we tend to forget that serving Christ can be pretty ugly. It involves denying ourselves and taking up our cross (Luke 9:23). The cross isn’t lovely. The results of the cross include hatred, scoffing, and abandonment. These three things are what I naturally do everything within my power to avoid. However, these three things have ALWAYS been present in my ministry. It’s like trying to run away from my own oxygen-impossible! As followers of Jesus life is not going to be easy. He never promised it would be. The only thing He promised was that He would not leave us (Matthew 28:20). Whether it’s in ministry, your job, your family or other relationships, one thing is for sure- Life is a struggle and the struggle is worth it because we have the greatest gift of all which is knowing Jesus.
- Wild Man
They Call Me Pastor, Sometimes I Like It- Series
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
For more information about our ministry to Pastors check out
Of The Word Ministries here...
I am The Wild Man...
I am a...
Husband, Father, Christian, Pastor, Pastor Coach, Leader, Preacher, Guitarist, Political Junkie, 80's Christian Rock/Metal Fan
I blog about all the above....simply put what interests me...