1/2/2011 7:33 PM
Random, scattered thoughts....
I saw a show on the science channel recently about black holes and dark matter. I'm fascinated with physics and astronomy and like to study it in my spare time. In High School, physics was my favorite subject and my average was 99 at the end of the year. Not sure why it fascinates me so much but I feel like it gives me a different view of God somehow.
Like many people at this time of year, I'm missing loved ones who've already gone home to be with the Lord. I miss my Dad. And I miss my life-long best friend Lauri. She always called me on Christmas morning and I sooo miss that phone call. Her birthday was Dec. 30th and we spent 80% of every new year's eve together since we were five. I will miss her every day of my life....
I threw out my back last week and it's been a painful week to say the least. Sure hope this week is better.
I've really been missing being a creative writer lately. I came across some short fiction stories I wrote ten years ago and it stirred something inside of me. I also starting reading a novel I started writing ten years ago. I actually thought it wasn't too bad and wondered if I should finish it.....
But I mostly feel driven to write a Christian leadership type of book. I feel like God wants me to begin writing it soon. I think it will open up a new chapter in my life. I feel myself holding back and procrastinating the start of this new chapter. My life feels so full to overflowing now. It's hard to imagine making room for new things in it.
I'm amazed at all the incredible things God is doing at BHCC recently. We're growing at a very healthy pace. In 2010, we gained around 50 new people that have stayed with us. We're seeing some new leaders on the horizon and have a second Leader's retreat planned for early Feb....
I'm wondering what the next 'chapter' in our church will be... 2010 has been a huge year for growth and outreach to our community. It seems that God has woven outreach into our DNA in amazing ways. I can't wait to see how much more we'll be capable of doing in 2011 and beyond! You can feel the Spirit moving in breath-taking ways. I pray much that my son will be able to become a full-time staff member soon. The workload feels overwhelming to me recently.
Few people realize how much intense, time-consuming work it takes to be a senior pastor of a church our size. There are weddings and funerals to plan and do, there is 20 hours of sermon-prep each week, and also other Sunday service planning (communion, set-up, tear down, welcome table, refreshment table, volunteers, etc., ect.); there is staff meetings, Lead team meetings and planning meetings. There is the whole business side of the church to manage; payroll, bills to pay, donations to track, building related stuff to manage, office equipment challenges and so forth.
There are future sermon series to plan for, Bible studies to plan, baptisms, hospital visits, Youth Group activities, marriage classes to prepare for....And that doesn't even begin to include the biggest part of all of it, shepherding, counseling and caring for God's people! Trying to manage 150-200 relationships can get very crazy at times! There's always a lot of people in crisis at once!
I'm not complaining or looking for sympathy, maybe just a little empathy. :-)
After a long day at church this morning, preaching with a horrific backache, someone new to our church asked me if I would come to the hospital and pray for her friend dying of cancer (52 years old). Of course I said yes. She also asked if I could give her and her husband a ride home, stopping at Taco Bell along the way. As her husband was thanking me, she said to him, you don't have to thank her, it's her duty. She then turned to me and said, "It's your duty, right?"
I was speechless (for once). She then said, "No really, you get more out of giving to us than we get out of it, right?" Again, speechless.
Unfortunately, I think a lot of people do think that it's a pastor's 'duty' to be continually doing for others. Strange how that is to me. Before I became an 'official' pastor, people seemed to have a lot more value on what I did for them. But now as a pastor, it seems that some people simply see it as my 'duty' to be always on the giving side.
It's not that I want gratitude or appreciation, but I do want people to see VALUE in what I give (and give up), not for my sake, but for the sake of Christ and to the glory of Christ. Whether I succeed or not, that is the goal of doing what I do. So that Christ will get the glory! But it worries me if people see it as more of a 'duty.' Not sure if that makes sense but those are my random thoughts about it. :-)
The consumerism thinking in America has so seeped into the Church. As hard as I try to cast the right vision for what God has created the Church to be, I often feel I have failed to get through to many people. There is still this 'us and them' mentality in the Church. Too many people think the pastors are supposed to do all the work and the people are there simply to receive.
I wonder what churches in other countries are like, if the same mentality exists?
I guess I need to find a way to teach the following:
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
1 comment(s) so far...
By Dr. Liz Stokes on
1/2/2011 9:21 PM
Re: Random Rambling....
Pastor Lin, I hear what you are saying and I can say this. It is time to set some people up that can do some training some teaching and some other things that you are taking on by yourself. Put a building committee in charge of that building. You can not handle it all. If I did not have my son, 2 grandsons and a Jr. Pastor, I would not be able to do it.
As for those that think that you get more out of doing things for others. Well, I am sure you do, as I do. But, for someone to be so bold to say such a thing is uncalled for. This is not a Christian attitude from them and they should appreciate the fact that you went to someone who you didn't even know and prayed with them and then took them to eat and then home. Sounds to me that they just wanted a ride home.
Forgive me if I sound like it is hard to trust people, but in my area it is very hard to do. I would like to tell you what God has told me about this year. He told me this is the Eleventh Hour. So, I am to go beyond my limit and I am to reach people that are going to churches that are not preaching the truth and bring them out of their downfall. God is getting to show us something this year we have never seen. Do, you believe I have preachers in our area who do NOT believe Christ is alive? Also, I have people from different churches tell me their preachers don't preach on Salvation. I could not believe it, for how do people get saved? So, we need to take this year, get others we can trust in our churches and put them in positions that they can handle and then we just need to preach the truth of the Bible and do our service to Our Lord. You are doing fine and things get us all down. But keep on going and know that God is with you all the way and I am here when you need a shoulder. Blessings. Liz