Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Things Change for the Busier

During the Sunday morning service, I had the privilege of baptizing a guy named Steve. I met him for the first time at his apartment on Friday. After listening to his testimony and going over some Scriptures with him, I was convinced that his commitment to Christ was (and is) genuine. However, earlier in the week I was not expecting to do anything during the Sunday service other than sing on the praise team... let alone baptize someone. Things change.

My management position at a major telecommunications company brings many responsibilities, many of which help prepare me for leadership in ministry. Yet no job experience is fully adequate to equip a minister for the unexpected busyness that a Sunday morning can bring. Among the fun surprises:
  • Expected: Singing on praise team as scheduled; Unexpected: Being asked on Saturday night to lead congregational worship the next morning (our worship leader was stranded in Reno); I was also scheduled to give announcements during the service
  • Expected: Teaching Sunday school; Unexpected: Being called out during my Sunday school lesson for a meeting regarding the praise song setlist that Kathy and I had crafted the night before
  • Expected: Baptizing Steve (well, we decided on Friday) immediately after leading the congregational singing; Unexpected: running up and down the church hallways searching for Steve, as the service chairperson was introducing the baptism
  • Expected: Relaxing over coffee and donuts after the service with my church family; Unexpected: Leading a parent/ student meeting after the service regarding this summer's International Youth Convention (Kathy and I forgot about this one until that morning)
  • Expected: Catching some of the NFL playoffs before making up comp time at work on Sunday afternoon; Unexpected: hauling two carloads of teenagers (gotta love 'em!) to our apartment for pizza and Fantastic Four before work

Of course, each of these changes for the busier brought about additional unexpected (and occasionally unflattering) public moments. But as Warner Pacific's Dr. John Johnson preached from the first chapter of Colossians, who we are in Christ should be our central focus.

Our response to unexpected busyness is affected less by what we think we can handle than it is by who we are. When we identify with Christ, we come to realize that His greatness eclipses our challenges. Life's mini crises are revealed to be just that: mini.

Epilogue: Pastor Ellie, who resigned as Senior Pastor last week, approached me after the service with some encouraging words. She told me that I deserved an "A" for the way that I handled Sunday morning. I'll give myself a pass.

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