Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 16: You Have to be Flexible

“You have to be flexible.” These are the words of my pastor when I began to mentor under him as a young naïve “pastor to be.” I recall going to my first meeting and I asked, “So what kind of ministry will I be doing?” He calmly responded, “Cleaning the church bathrooms.” THIS WAS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED! Where am I going with this? A group of young adults have asked me to do this one year blogging project. I am going to explain to you in this blog that you must be flexible while being a pastor.

This weekend was set and on the calendar looked great. Here was the plan….have my parents in from out of town to hang out with my family along with my brother’s family. We were going to build a swing set for my kids and take in a church event. You will find out very quick that if you are a pastor (particularly lead pastor) that your days can change in a moment. I had to go from a day of relaxing with family to speaking with a family that is days away from losing their mom who was a founder of Radiant Fellowship. After speaking with this family I then switch gears to church supply re-stocker (Sam’s Club restocking) and garbage man. Is this a bad thing? NO. It just means you have to roll with what comes your way. This is the life of a pastor.

Something I have discovered particularly in smaller churches is that you become a person that wears many hats. Again, is this a bad thing? No….it is the life you have chosen so embrace it. Why? Because you will have those days when you are kicking back enjoying a brat off the grill, a Sprecher root beer in hand while watching the kids play and someone drives up to your house crying and needs crisis counseling. I remember one day 6-7 years ago I get a call at 2 a.m. that kid in my youth group was raped, I was asked to come and be with this person. Another example was sitting with a family at the D.A. office in Milwaukee until midnight because of something that happened to their child. Today, building a swingset and than a call….”One of your founding partners of Radiant Fellowship is days from passing away in Illinois.” I just did the funeral for this person’s husband a few months ago. Again, these things are to be expected if you are a pastor but, if you are not flexible then you won’t make it. You must learn to balance your time than and make cuts in other areas. ALWAYS REMEMBER….you are a spouse first (if single...you are you first) then you are a pastor.

ps

As I was posting this blog yet another fire started that I have to now put out and it is 10:00 p.m. You have to be flexible.

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