Friday, July 30, 2010

25 Years - early memories

Being asked by a Board member during my interview what I thought about "picture shows" (movies)? The implication being I shouldn't think anything but bad about them and not encourage people from the church to attend movies.

Telling Heather that even though I had accepted the church's offer to become their Senior Pastor I had no idea what they were going to pay me. Salary never came up in any of our discussions and I didn't think it was right for me to bring it up.

Feeling really young since just about every adult in the church was older than me and wondering how I was going to lead and pastor people who had me beat in years, experience, and wisdom.

Being told in the first few weeks by two elders that even though they thought highly of me they did not vote for my coming because they thought I was too young and couldn't do the job.

Driving up to Willamette Falls Hospital on my first day on the job to visit an elderly man from the church, walking into his room, and being told by his wife who was standing over him that he had died just a few minutes earlier. I did my first funeral before I preached my first sermon.

Sitting at my desk in my office trying to figure out how to schedule my time, set my priorities, work by a list of goals, and find out from God what I was supposed to preach on as I got started.

Choosing the book, Well-Intentioned Dragons, to read with my elders in hopes of setting the expectations by which we would serve together ( gives this description of the book -
"Every church has them - sincere, well-meaning Christians who leave ulcers, strained relationships, and hard feelings in their wake. They don't intend to be difficult; they don't consciously plot destruction or breed discontent among the members. But they often do undermine the ministry of the church and make pastors question their calling. Based on real-life stories of battle-scarred veterans, Marshall Shelley presents a clear picture of God's love for those on both sides of the problem. He describes tested strategies to communicate that love and turn dissidents into disciples."

Setting a first-year goal of visiting every family in their home for the purpose of interviewing them regarding their feelings about the church and assuring them of my love and hope for the future.

Encountering more hurt and wounded people than I expected to find, quickly realizing my limitations, and learning to pray out of desperation, fear, and longing.

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