Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Monday, July 20

Today’s Readings: Psalm 120; 2 Samuel 3:(1-5) 6-21; Mark 5:14-20; Ephesians 5:15-24; Psalm 145

There are many wonderful, exhilarating aspects of being the pastor of a local church. The opportunities you have to develop deep and meaningful relationships with people is certainly one of the exhilarating aspects. Some of the other wonderful aspects include the opportunity to create worship, the chance to participate in life-changing mission work, and the ability to help others wrestle with profound spiritual questions. All of these things are wonderful aspects of being the pastor of a local church. “So what’s the hardest part of being a pastor?” friends and family members have asked me over the years. Well, I can’t speak for all local church pastors, but for me the biggest drawback is trying to balance the various demands of those in the pews. Some folks, for instance, expect the pastor devote a huge chunk of time and energy to missions; other folks expect the pastor to devote most of his/her time to doing pastoral visits; others, demand the bulk of the pastor’s time be given to the creation of worship; still others think time spent networking in the community should come first. No matter what you are doing, there is always someone who is critical of how you’re spending your time and energy. Over the years, a pastor develops thick skin and this makes the demands a little easier to deal with. Living in the midst of these demands, however, can get extremely exhausting. Of course pastors aren't the only one who live with this dynamic. Folks from all life circumstances frequently have to deal with this: parents, spouses, folks at work... You name the social location and folks from that setting live with that dynamic! So what raised this issue for me? One of the sentences in today’s reading from Ephesians was the culprit. “Out of respect for Christ,” the author of Ephesians wrote, “be courteously reverent to one another” (Ephesians 5:21 from The Message). Those simple eleven words provide a wonderful theological grounding for how we Christians are invited to live with others. Those words provide a wonderful opportunity for reflection today. As you sit back and evaluate the manner in which you lead your life, I would ask you, “How would you describe your manner in dealing with others?” I hope you’ll join me in aspiring to consistently treat those around you in a courteously reverent manner. Til next time…

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