Well, I suppose you could call it a fistfight. I got hit about 10-12 times without landing a single punch myself. It’s been a while since I have been in a fight. As a police officer, I probably get into more fights than the average middle-aged man. But at 46, my reflexes are not what they used to be—so I got a little beat up.
Your life may blow up, or it may slowly implode. But "faking it" in order to get through your ministry is like sailing onto the rocks. You make shipwreck of your faith and take a lot of other people down with you.
I need to admit I am weak. The cross demands it. But it's a daily challenge. I put pressure on myself and receive pressure from others to be strong and have it all together. And every time I sense I am giving into that pressure, I know I am wearing a mask. I am not being honest.
Here are several questions you should ask yourself as you ponder a call to pastoral ministry.
Is there really such a thing as a healthy church? Are there any healthy church staffs? And, what does healthy mean, anyway?
What gossip is, what to do when you hear gossip from someone, and why gossip is so enticing
So, after lots of hours spent in coffee shops and after buying a few lunches, here are the most common thoughts taken from dozens of conversations. I hope some of them make you angry. Not at the message, but at the failure of our pragmatic replacement of the gospel of the cross with an Americanized gospel of glory.
- Start conversations
- Hang out with people who enjoy the same things you do
- Volunteer somewhere
- Tell stories
- Get to know your community by asking questions
- Invite others to join you
- Pray with others
- Address physical and spiritual needs around you
By managing energy more skillfully, it’s possible to get more done, in less time, more sustainably.