I never went to seminary or bible college, I did take some training from a Vineyard online school that was very good. But I wonder if at a good seminary, as the young men and women study to become pastors, are they ever told about how they will be judged or viewed, if judged seems kind of harsh. My favorite baseball team is the Detroit Tigers and for a few years we had a manager that really was one of the best in baseball. Highly respected all through major league baseball by pretty much everyone in baseball. And yet, I believe, one of the things that pushed him to retire was the constant second guessing he had to live with from local sports writers. Now mind you none of these experts had ever managed a team let alone a major league team. Most had not played baseball since junior high and yet they were so much more knowledgeable about all things baseball…at least in their own eyes. Experts just trying to help…if you are a young person thinking God may be calling you be a pastor understand this…there is always someone sitting out there wanting to help you get better. (hint of sarcasm;)
I want to get back to writing my blog again but every time I sit down to write it feels kind of whiny so I delete. Probably sounds whiny because it is…I mean I have things to say about being a pastor or even what I see in the Church but I need to communicate from a better mindset. The thought I began above came after a long, difficult conversation I had recently with a person who had began worshiping with us, had come from another Vineyard and was now proceeding to tell me what all I was doing wrong, what I needed to change to be more “effective.” The cruncher was when he repeatedly let me know the sermons we preached (mostly me) were light and ineffective. I really should be more like the guy who preached where he attended before. Now listen up…the place he came from had probably the best speaker/preacher in our whole movement. Who wouldn't want to preach like that? Anyway, like the manager of the Tigers this is part of the task of the calling we are called to. Someone, who never has been a pastor, who maybe even has not led a small group will be glad to tell you how you do not match up. And Jesus said we were to love each other…really love!
My point is this…where do you or I find our identity? Is it in the role we are called to…the title? Do we depend and need the pats on the back and the compliments on a great sermon? (it is kind of nice;) A good friend sent me this as a reminder, “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. John 15:16 Yesterday after I left that meeting I asked God why in the world He called me. See that is it…He called me…you. I did not seek this out…I said yes and I said it reluctantly and with much fear. In leadership you may hear on occasion, that you are not doing a very good job. Well, like any good disciple you do a heart check…you make sure you are not phoning things in…then I turn to the One who called me and remember…before He called me to do this…He called me His son. When the music fades and the titles do not matter any more…I will still be His son…find your identity in Him…not in man made measured success. We can try to make the Church run like a business…but it is His body…Jesus is the head…we are the body. So this son is going to go back to his Father and sit with Him…I might not even talk…just sit in His presence…