There are some mornings I wake up a little after 4, I shower, and I avoid all the really squeaky steps down the hallway to get myself out the door and off to work for a couple hours before my year-and-a-half old boy gets up for his day. Other mornings, I wake up a little after 4, I shower and avoid all the same squeaky steps to get myself down to the computer for a couple hours for another kind of work. I’m a bi-vocational pastor who manages a small cleaning company but, at the same time, is privileged to care for the spiritual well-being of a flock of about forty people. It can be tricky splitting your energies between pastoring and running a business, between writing sermons and scrubbing toilets. But after just a handful of years I’ve grown to really appreciate the unique opportunities this sort of situation…
One of the easiest ways to understand a person’s life is to look into their spending habits. For example, in college I spent the majority of my income on coffee and books. Have we not all been there?! Although this may seem like a simple example, I think we can use this principle in any stage of life we find ourselves in. Spending money on things we enjoy doing or put value in, is part of the reason we are motivated to work. We motivate ourselves to save money because we believe that after we achieve our goal we or people we love (value) will benefit from it. However, on the flip side when we choose to spend money on one thing we are also sacrificing something else.
The call to ministry in and on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ is one of the greatest privileges and responsibilities a person could ever imagine. No one earns or deserves that privilege. It is offered as a gift of grace, and often brings with it a sense of “oughtness” that is compelling. But a call to ministry is, by its very nature, a call to prepare oneself for the fulfillment of the call. No one should feel themselves adequate, prepared, and equipped simply for having heard the call. Rather, there will be a deep sense of responsibility to cultivate a growing relationship with Christ through the Spirit, an intense study of the Word of God, and the careful discipline of learning to read, think, write, and speak in ways that represent the Risen Christ.
CPL Director Rev. Dana Preusch shares her story and the launch of the Center for Pastoral Leadership. ‘Mama D’ was my nickname at Blakemore Nazarene Church, my most recent pastorate in Nashville, TN. It was a term of endearment given me by some of my ministry students who had indeed become like children to me. It had been my privilege to serve these college students and young adults who were streaming thru our doors. And as any good parent would, I began to delegate meaningful responsibilities to them - in the pulpit, in worship, and in leadership. With such a youthful congregation, where I was practically the oldest person in the congregation (and me, still in my forties!), helping young adults find a place of service became not only the norm but a necessity at Blakemore - a joyful and gratifying one, I must add. These young people longed to…
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