Three months. That is how long I have been a pastor. I am still learning things, and I am still messing things up. But what is really cool about this, the community I was sent to serve, is that I am learning how to love them.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved them before I met them. I was praying for them as a church and as a community before I began my time as their pastor. But, now, after three months, I am starting to love my community in a unique way, fitting only to them.
I’m still learning. I’m still gonna mess things up. I still will not understand what is going on when deeper issues arise. But now I have known my people, they have become my church.
My church. Not in a way that suggests ownership, but in a way that means inclusion and love. Not “my toys,” but “my friends.” My church.
It’s good. It’s good because I am new, I am still learning how to pastor, I am still figuring out how to use the week to accomplish all that I should do. As I learn, I will make mistakes, put time where it should not be, forget to put a meeting in the bulletin, and probably step on some more toes. I don’t mean to, but I am not yet perfect.
Speaking of which, I have been injured most of the time I have been a pastor. I sprained my ankle 12 weeks ago and it has not yet healed. I am new, I have so much excitement and ideas, and hopes and dreams, and deadlines and requirements, and 40 different people who think of church in their own ways. Sometimes, I wonder if I can make anyone happy.
Good thing that is not what it really is about. Because we gather together to worship. That is what has made us this unique church. Whether they came 50 years or 5 years ago. This is the church.
So here is what I am excited about.
As I continue to learn and to experience each person individually, and then as a whole, I am looking forward to sharing love with them. I am filled with hope that our joy will make us complete, and the expectancy that God has something amazing in store for us. I am looking forward to the glimpses of the Kingdom that I know are just around the bend. I trust in this church, that we will join together in praise and thanksgiving, that we will worship and blossom as a people whose love cannot be hidden. What a blessing that will be.