When I first became a Christian (nearly 5 years ago) I found that many life long Christians wanted to hear what I felt and thought about a lot of things because many hadn’t run into a person who had no real church background who so suddenly began to follow Christ. It got me thinking that some folks might be interested in hearing some of the more interesting/humorous aspects of suddenly becoming the pastor of a congregation and "in charge" as it were, of a rather large beautiful church building.
I kept my new position quiet for awhile so I could adjust and focus on my duties. But it was interesting to me that as I slowly started telling folks I noticed some funny subtle changes. Friends who used to be willing to laugh at and tell bad jokes were suddenly stopping themselves and putting obvious thought in before telling jokes they would have said without thinking before. I find that funny because it’s not like I’m a different person now. And, technically, I’ve been teaching "in the pulpit" off and on for about a year now. The only thing that has really changed is my title and some of my responsibilities. I got to talk to a dear friend who has been a pastor for a long time and he shared some fun and funny stories about being a pastor. It made me feel a lot better to know that some of these things just come with the territory.
I’ve found it interesting that I’ve been nervous to share this with some of my friends outside the congregation. I think there is a part of me that is afraid of losing some of those friendships because, after all, who wants to have a pastor as a friend. They’re no fun. <chuckle> But, when it comes down to it, I serve my Lord Jesus Christ first and He is the most important friendship I have, with my wife as a close second. (If that statement bothers you please feel free to talk to my wife about it, it doesn’t bother her and that’s what counts.)
I have felt a great deal of growth in me in the past few weeks both spiritually and in maturity. I’m truly grateful that my Lord has blessed me with this experience. I feel confident that the strength of the relationships in our congregation will weather some of the changes we’ve had to go through and that we will regroup and begin to grow again. Hopefully being able to bless other people with the love and community and closeness that we feel toward each other. I also pray for wisdom as I make decisions and changes to help keep our beautiful church building open and being used as much as possible. Currently there are 4 different congregations who share our building and I am grateful for the help I have from others to coordinate and communicate with everyone. I believe God is preparing to do some wonderful things in our neighborhood and in truth He has already begun. It’s truly an honor to be part of the changes that are happening.