Friday, March 13, 2009

Associate Pastor of Plate Spinning

It's almost 36 years since I took my first full-time church ministry job (I think I was about 3 at the time). Cathy and I became part of a church with some staffing needs. The pastor had been trying to hold it together on his own, but he needed some assistance.

The most obvious need was in the church music area. Since that was my area of training and limited experience AND since I was available, they hired me., two...uh, three...mmm, many problems! They couldn't afford a full-time music person. They also needed youth ministry help. They similarly needed help in adult education. I sang at a youth retreat one time so I guess that was youth ministry experience. Ditto for adult ed -- I used to go to Sunday School.

Oh, and they obviously needed help with committees. We had more committees, it seemed, than Sunday morning attenders. I was ex-officio on all of them. That means I was expected to attend their meetings. No wonder I wrote about committees recently!

I learned a dump-truck load during my three years on that staff. Some of the best ministry lessons of my life were taught to me by that pastor. I almost learned something else that could have changed my entire life direction.

You see, I had to scramble to get one night a week off. For someone who recharges his batteries during quiet hours at home, I left there fully drained. I almost learned that I never wanted to work in the local church again.

I'm glad my attitude about that one changed.


C. Beth said...

I'm glad your attitude about that changed too--and I'm glad you learned from it and were home lots of nights when we were growing up!!

Sam said...

Me, too!