Wednesday, March 25, 2009

One Year Later

I’ve been a bit retrospective the last few days as Blair and I hit the one year mark for my pastorate at Memorial Baptist. The first post on this blog was dedicated to setting forth some pastoral goals before assuming office. Some of those goals may have come across as idealistic but I still stand by them though it’s clear that the deeper things do not come quickly.

My main priority was to simply establish my preaching ministry and then to build relationships. Check, and check… though these are still ongoing priorities. No matter how frustrated I can get and no matter how many “set-backs” it seems we face there is still an indescribable joy that wells up on Saturday night knowing that I have the privilege to open God’s Word to God’s people on Sunday morning.

Moreover I’ve learned so much about loving people and investing in people. Actually I’ve learned that I do not do this nearly as well as I thought and nearly as much as Christ is calling me to. So I’m praying more than ever that there not be a disconnect in my own heart from the preaching the Word and loving the people.

It is easy for a shepherd to get frustrated with the flock but I’m reminded daily of the instructions Jesus gave to Peter before His ascension back to Heaven. In John 21:15-17 Jesus repeatedly questions Peter on whether Peter loves Him. “Absolutely Jesus!” summarizes Peter’s three replies. Jesus tells him that love toward Him is demonstrated through the feeding of the sheep.

So my goal for year two is (in addition to preaching the Word) to love Jesus by loving and feeding His sheep. It is more difficult to become angry or discouraged when you remember that those in your flock belong to Jesus and your ministry is to love them… which I do.

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