I'm 28 years old. In almost everyone's eyes that's not very old. I won't try and claim that it is not, either. I am cognizant of my youth. I also recognize, however, that I've been blessed to have a lot of experience for someone my age. I've been a lead pastor for almost 5 years now. I have served as a missionary in West Africa with the International Mission Board and prior to that as a Youth Minister for 3 years. Beyond that, God has blessed me with a fair amount of opportunities to travel and speak as a guest teacher since I started speaking at 16.
God has given me the ability to communicate with the spoken word and I recognize that my gifts are pretty much limited to that capacity. I struggle with much of the pastoral responsibilities that go with being a pastor. I'm not strong in administration and I struggle with counseling. I can teach and cast vision and beyond that, everything else requires a lot of effort on my behalf.
Now, let me explain the reason for all this transparency. I have learned a tremendous amount in my short years in ministry. This is particularly true of my time as a lead pastor. 99.5% of the time I honestly feel as if I am swimming with my head barely above water, in my job as a pastor, and that any minute I might go under. I am not even close to feeling like I am doing a good job as a pastor. However, I have learned quite a bit about what mistakes I shouldn't make, as I've constantly made mistakes. What I would like to begin to do, coming next week, is a series sharing with you my observations about what has been effective and what has been ineffective in my experience as a pastor. This is not intended to be a "told you so" as I recognize that I (and MVBC) are works in progress. Rather, this is intended to be self-reflection that hopefully provides those of you just starting out the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and maybe! profit from our church's successes, as well as helping me to visualize my experience at our church in an effort to sharpen who we are as a body.
So, watch for the next edition of "lifeLESSONS" coming next week.