I am back after a month long sabbatical. I have been to the mountain top, and I have returned with many words of wisdom. Or put in a less dramatic way, I am back after a refreshing break.
God did impress upon me several things while I was away. Some of them more personal in the realm of conviction and correction and some of them more general and confirming. I came back from a month away more excited than ever about ReCAST Church. I missed all of these people that God has brought together to form a local community of worshipers.
But I also felt renewed in my calling to be a pastor. Let me say in a moment of flat out honesty, that I am made of the same stuff as everyone else. And leading a church can take its toll. It is not as much a set of responsibilities. I don’t lift as much as some people, I don’t drive as far, I don’t dig as much as some people. But, I would humbly suggest that there are a lot of expectations on a pastor. Every sermon should be witty AND serious. He should love to be around people AND love to study in silence. He should be a good administrator BUT not too administrative. He should love God AND love sinners. He should model balance, calm, peace, joy, being a good husband, being a good father, rising early, staying healthy, studying the word, all while never having too much beer.
So as I wrote these things out, I left for sabbatical focused on this list. I wanted to ask God, if I truly match the job description. My question to God this month was simple and honest . . . ‘How am I doing?” And I believe He subtly kicked back and asked “Why do you want to know? Are you looking for an out?”
And then he started tearing me down. I have been convicted of my shortfalls in many areas. Am I a model husband, model father, model rejoicer, model peacemaker, model human? Yikes! Where is all this going?
But in the midst of my sabbatical God pressed on me that even though I am not perfect, I am still useful. I believe that there is strength found in a genuine humility that comes frequently to look at our shortcomings. It is faith inducing to realize that I cannot, but God can! In reading through a book about calling by the Puritan, William Perkins, I came to realize that there is a recognition of weakness that is inherent to our callings.
I believe that I am a pastor. Not because I have everything nailed down, sewn up and figured out. But I believe I am a pastor because God has called me, equipped me, confirmed that calling through others, and used me to further His kingdom.
I do not believe that I am merely just a pastor, but the pastor of ReCAST Church, by the calling of our Great God. I will serve Him here until they are tired of me, or God moves me on in clarity. I am energized and eager. I have a new vision and a renewed calling to be the man of God in my community.
Amazing how God speaks to us. ReCast is very blessed by God to have you as the pastor because God has a plan and purpose and you truly are a man after the heart of God.