In private, most pastors will admit that they continue to struggle with finding a role that works. In order to offer some help, in this current series of blog posts I am sharing some of my own experiences in finding a role that works.
Let me continue describing the first church where I served as an assistant pastor.
Prayer meetings were well attended. But, the spirit of them did not reach my expectations. I was used to the prayer meetings of my Youth for Christ days when together, on our knees, arms encircling one another, we pleaded for God to sustain our very existence. Somehow, the oft-intoned reminders of missionaries around the world (in spite of a very active missions program), unsaved relatives, and the physically ill seemed manufactured. Rarely, if ever, as I remember, were there requests that bared the open agony of a Christian in desperate need.
In those prayer meetings, few seemed to be speaking from that precarious ledge called faith—striving in ministries, personal or congregational, so far above their familiar abilities that they required God’s hand to keep them from falling. As a result, prayer became cursory.
There was also a tendency for the group to be extremely in-grown. I taught a series in the couples’ class (thirty-to-forty-year-olds) emphasizing the principle of developing non-Christian acquaintances—again another idea that para-church evangelistic groups have developed and stressed. It was quite a shock to learn that not only did these warm, gracious people not have non-church friends, but that I, myself, since leaving Youth for Christ, had become such a part of the church that I had not been developing these relationships either! The activity calendar had conspired against all of us.
I’m addressing the issue of how a pastor goes about finding a role that works. In the next few blog posts, I will continue to address this issue. I hope you will come back to this blog and read more.
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