Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Yesterday, I had my annual review with my Archdeacon (Church of England for 'Head of HR') and it was a really good experience. To prepare for it, I wrote a long document that attempted to capture everything that has happened in my life (personal and spiritual), family, church and leadership. Once I had put it down on paper it turned out to be quite a lot. Not least, was the wonder and joy of becoming a father.
As part of this process, here are some questions I am asking myself at the moment:
1. How are you doing?
2. What are my priorities?
3. What is God saying to me?
4. What is God saying to our church?
5. What am I blind to/lying to myself about?
6. Who in my life will tell me/ is telling me what I need to hear?
7. Am I listening to them?
Over the last year, I have spent quite a bit of time reflecting on what it means to be a pastor. I have looked around at those who carry that name, including myself, and observed what a deeply flawed bunch we all are. However, the recent tonic and balm for my introspection has been Zack Eswine's book 'The Imperfect Pastor and this section about 'greatness' hit me recently and I have been mulling on its challenge since. You may find yourself doing the same:
Jesus's idea of doing great things for God meant a daily routine that accentuated a greatness of a different kind. His schedule among the least looked something like what follows. In particular:
Early morning and late evening: disappear often and pray
After breakfast till just before dinner: seek out unknown and scarily broken people and give them the bulk of your time. Set aside times to teach publicly and to debrief privately with those you are mentoring.
Early evening after dinner: spend time together and enjoy each other.
Eat and sleep
Help those other leaders who are for you to understand from God's word that this way of ministry is from God and is no waste.
Bear with people whom you help but who distance themselves from you because your way of life and ministry scares them
Don't worry that your true glory is veiled to almost everyone around you.
Don't schedule too much time with those who believe themselves to be pillars in government or the church. Remember that they too are just people. They have their own sins to repent of and their own callings to fulfill. They are not more important than the broken and the lost for whom you are called'
The Imperfect Pastor, P.63