Career Day seems like a memory, especially as we’re closing in on the end of the year.
But I wanted to complete this short series on, essentially “What a Pastor does,” by sharing the third part of my job that I talked about with the kids.
One part of my job is Learning. I read and study a lot. More likely, I’ve got 2-3 books going at a time, in addition to the study of the Word (often in the original languages) and then associated commentaries. I read a fair amount of books relevant to church and pastoring but quite a bit around relationships. Which introduced the second part of my job:
Listening. I love to meet with people and talk and listen to their stories. I listen when they’re experiencing great joy and I listen when they’re in struggles. I listen to friends one-on-one. I listen to couples and families who are having a hard time getting along. While I’m listening to them, I’m also listening to the Holy Spirit. He helps me listen closer and hear where real pain may be hidden or to hear a path of conversation that needs to be walked.
As a pastor, I am in leadership of a church. For some, when they think of a church, they might think of the building and resources. Others might think of people—that it’s the people who make up the church. But there’s also a Mission or a Call to serve that’s another part of a church.
I was reminded of this post from a while back about “What is a Church?” that might be interesting: http://knowliveshares.wpengine.com/what-is-a-church/
For me, the answer is really all three but maybe I see it in some order of priority: A church is a Mission/Call to serve, that is answered by People and stewarded by Resources (building, etc).
As the Pastor, my job is to manage, develop and grow all three of those of parts of the church. My analogy was a people-pyramid:
My wife turned 40 last year (She’s on top to the left). She and some of her siblings were trying to recreate a people pyramid like one they did when they were little (It’s an infamous family photo).
I asked the kids at Old Town Career Day if they’ve ever attempted such a thing. Not many had. I guess it is somewhat of a dying art? I showed them this photo and talked about leadership in a church.
Let’s say that we’re going to build a people pyramid. Well, first you’d have to make sure you have enough people who think that’s a great idea. So you start telling others about your dream and describe the idea to them. Hopefully enough get excited about it or if it’s just you and one other friend, you might tell him to go and tell others about your idea and bring friends to meet up. So now, you have enough people. What do you do next? You start to see who would fit best on the bottom as base layer, in the middle and who might work at the top.
Like this picture: Do you see how my wife can’t stop herself from laughing, but her sister Mari on the bottom is like “oww, my back!” Meanwhile, sister Renee can’t breathe she’s having so much fun. This is a lot like building a church. (Secularly speaking now:) I get people excited about building something and help them find the right place they fit so we can make something fun.
What do you think of when you think of a job of a Pastor?