Tonight was breathtaking.
Lately I have felt as though I'm not doing a very good job at any of the titles that fall upon my shoulders as a pastor. My title encompasses being a shepherd (tending and caring for the people in my flock), administrator (giving oversight and order to the life of the church), preacher (having to bring a message of hope and resurrection each and every Sunday at a specific time), leader (giving guidance and clarity to situations), and teacher (creating learning environments and facilitating so persons can dig deep into their questions of faith). It's been difficult to keep all of those titles moving in the same direction as a vision is cast and purpose is lived out.
I have felt flat and ineffective.
As the summer rushed to an end and the fall ministry calendar began unfolding I wrestled with what to teach for our Wednesday Night Bible Study. Finally, with time pressing upon me I made a choice but that choice lacked confidence or conviction.
Tonight (well it actually started this morning as very specific words rose before me as I was reading scripture and preparing for an upcoming event) was the first gathering for our study. As I sat down at the table all of those titles came rushing back to me and I wondered if I had chosen correctly, if I had what it would take to lead and if it would be what the flock needed to tend to their souls. When the conversation began all of the fears rose within me and I wondered if I would fall on my face, if those crazy titles would keep me from being present with the people.
Then it happened, something that I wasn't expecting.
Stories being told that revealed the depths of one's soul.
Tonight as I held all of those titles in an in between place within my heart, mind and soul I was honored to be sitting among such a life giving group of Followers. Their sense of community, trust of one another, honesty and humility reminded me that I don't have to do all things with excellence all of the time. I too need, desire and deserve to be tended to, have others bring clarity, have people who can teach and bring the message of hope and healing into my life.
Titles, they are powerful, life giving and breathtaking.