“How does a pastor go about finding a role that works?” That’s the question I’m intending to answer in this series of blog posts. To do that, I am currently building a foundation for future positive suggestions by sharing some of the experiences I had as I began my ministry as an assistant pastor in the local church.
In the last blog post in this series, I mentioned that honestly expressing my opinion on issues that bothered me opened the door for me to give serious thought to all the questions that had been torturing me.
Here are some of those questions: “As a church, where are we headed? “Why do we always have a Sunday evening service?” “Do we have to hold all of our meetings in this building?” “Why are the announcements always right before the special number that has nothing to do with the sermon that follows?” “Why do we plan a Vacation Bible School when we don’t have enough people to staff it?” “Is it necessary to have a 5:30 Jet Cadet (youth group) Hour?”
Behind all this probing was the basic question, “What is the purpose of this local church to begin with?” I found great frustration in being told, “Run, man, run! You’re the person we really need to help the church out,” when no one knew the ultimate destination much less the starting point. There were occasions in the repetitious absurdity of services when I wanted to stand up and scream at the top of my lungs just to have broken the futility of it all!
I must hasten to say that, at the same time, I was still deeply committed to Christ and continued to find Him meaningful in my life. I was exercising my gifts on a personal level, and with God’s help, maintained an active measure of love for the people with whom I worked. In fact, some of these people regularly demonstrated true concern for me in my struggles as well. Other non-church ministries were still open to me, and I found it difficult to continue imagining myself as a local church reformer.
Can you identify at all with these struggles as I’ve shared them? I’m quite certain you do, particularly if you’re searching for an answer to the question, “How does a pastor go about finding a role that works?” I’m grateful for your patience with my narrative as I build a necessary foundation for some positive suggestions to help you answer that question. I’m hopeful that your desire to get answers will bring you back to this blog for more.
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