Posts Tagged ‘pastoring’

Half-Way There!

November 16, 2010

When I was in my teens, I would go to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for a few days almost every summer.  I was relatively small in stature, but wanted to prove that I was stronger than I looked, so I would volunteer to carry the canoe across the portages.  By the time I was sixteen, I could carry a canoe, while wearing a backpack, across the trails.

On long portages,  they would have places set up where you could lean the canoe, without actually setting it back on the ground.  This would give you an opportunity to rest and catch your breath.

The portages would be marked on the map with their distance.  It was always nice to know when you were at the half-way point, because it gave you an idea of how much further you had to travel.

I believe that I am likely at the half-way point of ministry.  I began my role as a lead pastor twenty years ago and, should Jesus tarry, and my health holds out, I imagine that I will continue in full-time ministry until I am seventy.

It is a good thing that I enjoy a challenge.  It has not been an easy portage, but I am at the half-way point, and it is well worth it.

Advertisements

Pastor/Teacher/Chi Alpha Leader

October 7, 2010

Tuesday was our first Chi Alpha meeting.  Chi Alpha is a campus ministry sponsored by the Assemblies of God, but open to anyone.  I am happy to be able to have the opportunity to lead this activity at the college where I teach.  I have been a lead pastor of a local church since 1991.  I have been teaching philosophy, ethics, logic and world religions, on a part-time basis at the local community college since 1998.  Chi Alpha allows me to blend the role of teacher and pastor at a secular location.   It is a wonderful opportunity for me, and I look forward to what God is going to do with this new ministry.

Winter is Here!

December 9, 2009

For Iowa, it may still be officially autumn on the calender, but it is safe to say that winter is here.

Just last week I rode my motorcycle to the college.

Not this week.

Iowa has been hit with a winter storm packing three stages.  First, snow ranging from 3-18 inches, then winds picking up, then the temperatures dropping significantly. 

Oh, joy.

Many schools have cancelled, so students have the time off.  For this teacher, there is still plenty of work to do.  It is the end of the semester and there are papers to grade, tests and study guides to update, and of course, the normal daily routine, and church duties. 

After I shovel the snow….

Get a Better Pastor!

October 22, 2009

Is it time for your church to get a better pastor? One that preaches with a little more inspiration?  One that is more sensitive to the needs of the congregation?  One that just seems regularly, to be filled with the Spirit of God?

You don’t have to fire your current pastor, to get a better one.

Pray for the one that you have now!!

If the congregation is regularly praying for their pastor, then God will hear those prayers and the anointing of God will be upon them and they will be better.

Of course, the same can be said to pastors of  their congregations.

The Lights Are On

September 30, 2009

The doors are open.

The lights are on.

The gospel is being preached.

This is the response that I sometimes give when I am at a gathering of ministers and am asked how things are going at the church.

I would love to be able to respond with all kinds of reports of miraculous growth, but, that isn’t the case.  Our church has shown little statistical change over the years.  We have been pretty steady with slight increases and decreases.   Some people come, some people stay,  some people go, the numbers remain about the same.

As a pastor, I sometimes feel as though my success or failure is determined by the numbers.  Certainly that impression is reinforced whenever I attend ministerial functions.  The speakers are always individuals whose ministries have shown dynamic growth.  Growth seems to be held up as the indication of success.  Therefore lack of growth, would seem to indicate failure.  Since my church does not show growth, it would seem that I am a failure as a pastor.

I do not accept that conclusion.

I do not believe that statistics tell the whole story.  I believe that God continues to work in us, and through us, as individuals and as a church.  Only God knows the full story of the impact that is made in the spiritual realm by the large number of small churches, like ours, in our country and around the world.

The doors are open.

The lights are on.

The gospel is being preached.

Showtime!

February 18, 2009

Many years ago a pastor told me that he felt that we basically were in sales.  I did not like the comparison then, and I still don’t like it now.  Jesus is not a product available for purchase. 

I have also known my share of pastors who have treated ministry as if it were a career in acting.  They were always careful to keep their “pastor’s image” bright and shiny and on display; at least in public.  I like this approach to ministry even less than the salesman approach.

I have been the pastor at my church now for eighteen years, and was involved in various other aspects of ministry for a few years before that, and yet I have blogged very little about ministry or being a pastor. 

I remember way back in January of 1991 when were were trying out at the church.  I stood and looked in the mirror before going to Sunday School.  I smiled at the reflection and thought “showtime”.  I thought that ironically, because I felt a little like I was being placed on display, perhaps even for “purchase”.  Ugh!!

Then I believe that the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, “Show them Jesus.  Let them see Jesus in you.”

Showtime took on a different meaning.  It is my desire to show people Jesus.  It is my desire to show people the way to draw closer to him.  It is my desire to show people the difference that Christ makes in my life, and can make in theirs.  I am not perfect, and do not pretend to be.  My congregation sees the real me, which is not always pretty, but I hope and pray that they also see the light of Christ shining through this somewhat cracked, imperfect vessel.

It’s showtime, all the time.