I have a love – hate relationship with my job as do most pastors or ministers – if we are honest. Hear me out before you get too mad at me, please. There are some things I love about what I do and then there are other things I don’t like. I’m not going to take this space to elaborate on which duties I prefer over others, but to say I have a challenging and demanding career. I see people at their best and worst; sharing the happiest and the saddest moments of life. I see, hear, and know things that others only observe in soap operas or a bad movie. Real life isn’t always pretty and ministry is about getting involved in the lives of people no matter where they’ve walked. Everyone needs compassion and grace. Then there’s the stuff that drives you crazy; it’s the simple stuff. Communication and relationships are perhaps the biggest challenge in ministry. You’ll find a variety of personalities in a local church and with each personality brings a set of expectations and preferences. There’s an art to ministering, relating, and serving a diverse community.
I would be telling an untruth if I didn’t say sometimes I dream about having a “regular” job (whatever that is). Clocking an eight hour day and then leaving all the day’s problems behind in my cubical as I head for home. After being ushered back into reality, I realize that’s not me. I wouldn’t be happy there. Even in all my periodic frustrations in ministry, I’d be more frustrated living outside of my calling. See, there’s nothing else I can do and be satisfied, fulfilled, and content. I must live out this calling; it is my life. God called me to ministry and more specifically to pastor a local congregation. There’s no release from this call without taking a step outside of His will. I’ve been there before, and it’s a place I don’t want to visit again.
Why did I bother to tell you all this? I want you to capture a glimpse in the power of the call. Because I KNOW God called me, I am reminded of where He wants me. This call is a sustaining force in my life. I don’t do this stuff for me; I do it for Him – the one who called me, empowered me, and sustains me. I find strength in the call to love and to give. And by the way, I really do love the church I serve – the people I have the privilege to love.