Guest post by Mike Nicholas
Pastors love to take the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day to regroup. But in the regrouping, most pastors start to mentally focus on what will happen starting January 2nd. The pace will pick up, Sunday will come every week and fresh messages will need to be presented. People will have needs, counseling will have to be given and dreaded administrative tasks will always confront you. The question is: What will you do about it?
Can the pastoral Merry Go Round be different in 2019 for you? The work load probably won’t reduce, but ministry can be different. The pace of 21st century pastoring can be daunting for sure, but what about modeling the pace of our Mentor, Jesus? No pastor would claim a busier ministry than our Savior, but was there any hurriedness to His compassion and grace giving? The people He ministered to were given appropriate attention without the anxious thoughts (of our busy agenda) that pastors easily become consumed with today.
Many years ago when full time ministry was a part of my life, I kept the frenetic pace of many pastors, often missing ministry as Christ modeled it. In my old files this week, I read quotes that could be a great friend to your ministry in 2019.
Dallas Willard in speaking to a small retreat said this,
“I want each of you to go away from this place and never hurry again. Hurry is always an expression of anxiety and the sign of a deeper problem.”
(taken from Apprenticeship with Jesus, by Gary Moon)
John Ortberg presented meaningful statements about pace in his great book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted. Listen to his counsel from the following statements:
“If we want to follow someone, we can’t go faster than the one who is leading,” and “Hurry is not just a disordered schedule. Hurry is a disordered heart.”
Richard Foster in his book, Prayer wrote about resting in God, giving us timeless insight.
“This does not promote inactivity, but it does promote dependent activity. No longer do we take things into our own hands. Rather, we place all things into divine hands and then act out of inner promptings.”
You may not be able to change the responsibilities of your ministry in 2019, but will you focus on your Mentor when approaching them?