Pastoring is Sometimes

This week I was glad to attend the graduation at our local seminary. It was a special blessing to watch several students that I had mentored in recent years walk across the stage, and I couldn’t help get a little nostalgic, and even a little pensive.  In the midst of my heart-bursting pride and joy, I also asked myself:  Do they know? Do they know what this call which they’ve embraced involves?

What I really wondered was: Had I done enough? Had I explained it well enough, this pastoring life? Did they understand the unique mix of the miraculous and the mundane that is this calling?  Were they ready for the moments when they would say: “Is THIS really what it is???” and worry that perhaps they were getting something wrong – because surely it couldn’t be…could it?

In case I missed it, friends, I’ve tried to do it here.  Here is my last kick at the can at helping you understand what pastoring is, with hope you will remember this on those days when you’re not sure you’re even pastoring at all.  (And, of course any of you non-pastors reading may also find this helpful if you’ve ever wondered about this pastor job, too).

 To put it simply, pastoring isn’t one specific thing.  Pastoring is a whole lot of “sometimes.”

Sometimes pastoring is preparing a sermon and reading lots of books.

Sometimes pastoring is preparing for a board meeting and taking lots of notes.

Sometimes pastoring is leading a Bible study.

Sometimes pastoring is preparing for a hard conversation and praying lots of prayers.

Sometimes pastoring is listening.

Sometimes pastoring is photocopying handouts.

Sometimes pastoring is holding a baby and praying blessing over them.

Sometimes pastoring is holding the hand of someone who is dying, and praying blessing over them.

Sometimes pastoring is the joy of journeying with someone as they become a disciple of Jesus.

Sometimes pastoring is the heartbreak of seeing someone walk away from faith.

Sometimes pastoring is running a Mom’s group.

Sometimes pastoring is balancing a budget.

Sometimes pastoring is weeping over a budget.

Sometimes pastoring is giving someone a ride.

Sometimes pastoring is preaching a sermon that you didn’t have time to make as good as you knew it could be, and reminding yourself “I have another week.” .

Sometimes pastoring is walking through the aisles of your church pews or chairs and picking up garbage left from the week before.

Sometimes pastoring is an hour on a Saturday cutting a bit sheet into pieces of cloth to use for a sermon illustration.

Sometimes pastoring is filling a grocery cart with 300 packs of ramon noodles for Christmas hampers.

Sometimes pastoring is buying 100 feet of eaves troughs to use for a giant ice cream sundae.

Sometimes pastoring is price checking hot dog buns for the church picnic.

Sometimes pastoring involves your friendly puppet, Ralph.

Sometimes pastoring involves wearing bunny ears.

Sometimes pastoring is letting people hate you, because telling them the whole story would be even worse.

Sometimes pastoring is hearing a story that you will never tell, but always carry.

Sometimes pastoring is keeping secrets.

Sometimes pastoring is hugging.

Sometimes pastoring is keeping your distance.

Sometimes pastoring is tea and a game of Skip-Bo.

Sometimes pastoring is not telling them you don’t like coffee.

Sometimes pastoring is writing policy.

Sometimes pastoring is stepping into a situation when everybody else is stepping out.

Sometimes pastoring is sending an email.

Sometimes pastoring is making a phone call.

Sometimes pastoring is writing a blog.

Sometimes pastoring is remembering a birthday.

Sometimes pastoring  is commitee meetings.

Sometimes pastoring is prayer for healing.

Sometimes pastoring is deliverance.

Sometimes pastoring is washing the dish cloths after a church supper.

Sometimes pastoring is preparing a couple for marriage.

Sometimes pastoring is walking someone through a divorce.

Sometimes pastoring is mentoring a new pastor.

Sometimes pastoring is finding someone to talk to so that you can make it through another day.

Sometimes pastoring is checking which markers work in the marker bin.

Sometimes pastoring is participating in a miracle.

Sometimes pastoring is going to a hospital.

Sometimes pastoring is going to a jail.

Sometimes pastoring is “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Sometimes pastoring is “The Lord bless you and keep you.”

Sometimes pastoring is “The body of Christ broken for you, and the blood of Christ shed for you.”

Sometimes pastoring is “This is ashes to ashes and dust to dust.”

Always pastoring is the very Spirit of God in every moment…

And sometimes (on the good days), pastoring is knowing it.

copastoring-part-1

 

 

7 comments

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  1. Judy Shierman

    And sometimes pastoring is reading a post that reminds you that others understand all you are going through and it brings you to tears. Thanks Leanne, I needed this tonight.

    Like

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