I’m at this church conference and there’s this word I keep using. It’s a word I don’t know that I’ve every used so often. I’ve used it about my marriage and my wife a lot. I’ve used it about my kids and my daughter in law and my grandson a lot, but when it came to my career, I never used it like I’m using it now. The word is happy.

You see as I come to this conference, I realize how many people I’ve been blessed to come to know over the last five years as I’ve traveled the nation running A.M.O.K. It’s so cool to have so many people in a concentrated area. I see people I know at virtually very turn and while we’re usually headed in opposite directions and only have a few seconds, we ask how each other is doing and I usually end up saying something about being happy. I feel so blessed to be doing what I am doing and it’s starting to show.

Strangely, in some ways I am working harder than I have ever worked, but there is a fulfillment I’m not sure even I expected. I figured I’d never be a pastor again when my church plant closed. In some ways I was actually okay with that. I was loving the traveling art ministry (I still do) and between that and a day job that helped to pay the bills, I was okay. When the day job went away, I thought I was in deep trouble, but the Lord provided and I got a large amount of bookings that really helped. I started envisioning maybe being a full time speaker. I loved it and I still do. The problem was I was starting to feel a lot of pressure to book more and more things. I got a call out of the blue to serve as an interim pastor for a couple months over the winter when speaking was traditionally slow. I agreed to do it and discovered that the church was a fit about the same time they discovered I was a fit. It all worked and I became the permanent pastor. I was very happy. I loved it and I still do.

Now here’s the thing. What I’ve learned is my church ministry makes me better at my traveling ministry and the messages I write for church help a flow of fresh ideas for presentations to keep rolling into my mind. On the other hand my traveling ministry makes me better at my church ministry. I’ve become a much better speaker on the road and mist importantly I get a lot of experiences on the road that give me fresh stories for my congregation. I imagine most of you have been in churches where the pastor’s stories start to become a little too familiar. That is due at least in part to the fact that the pastor spends so much time in one place that he or she doesn’t get many new experiences. Further when I am out, my congregation gets to hear other voices and other perspectives which is good for them as well.

God has been good to me and I am blessed. More than that, Most of the time, I’m happy.

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