Last Friday I did something I’ve not done in…let’s see… I can’t remember… I actually… Well…I’m almost ashamed to admit it…
I’m looking to my right…now to my left…okay…
I took a day OFF!!!
Can you believe it! A whole day off!
Well…that’s not 100% true. I still checked emails and returned two phone calls…but, don’t tell Pam. I don’t think she noticed 🙂 (I’m pitiful aren’t I?)
You know Pam keeps telling me I’m working too hard. It’s probably true. But, it is what it is. I’m doing the best I can. With a church who runs 500+ people…well…as I said…it is what it is.
Interestingly, last week I had another pastor tell me that I was “insane!” Yep, he said, “You and just one other pastor are caring for 500+ people. You’re insane!”
He’s right! I know he’s right. But, you see, I’ve had this crazy desire to lead the church to follow the Scriptures regarding leadership of the church. Follow the Scripture and not the traditions of man. Follow the Bible and not what the business world teaches about leadership? Nuts, huh!
Crazy as it sounds, we are actually a church that wants and DESIRES to follow the Bible and what the Bible says about leadership and how we do church (church polity). I’ve been wanting to do this since I became an Elder/Pastor and I’m glad I’ve got a partner in crime that feels likewise. This man…
That’s Brad Cordray and his wife Michele.
Let me tell you something. That man is a machine! He works with his head down and doesn’t say anything about it. He just works. He is juggling the work of at least two men. I’m grateful for all that he does to look after our campus at church and all the miscellaneous things that go on with managing buildings and properties. Did I mention that he does an amazingly fantastic job with our music program. He’s training a whole new generation the wonders of music and the arts. What he and his team pull off each week is like a small cantata or production. All the coordinating and juggling of people’s schedules and practices, etc. is literally like pulling off a small miracle each week.
This is Brad’s family…
That’s an older picture (it’s the best I could find…I’m typing fast…). That’s Jameson on his lap and then Julianna and then Jackson (on Michele’s lap). I love those guys!
Brad told me last week, “Kevin, you have got to stop saying that we are holding on our own around here… WE’RE DROWNING!” He’s right. I know he is. I just don’t want to admit that we are large enough now that just the two of us can no longer cover all the bases any more. It’s hard to admit…yes…but, it’s true.
However, I’ve got to tell you that I’m thrilled! Why? Because of this guy…
That’s Dale Jennings and he announced on Sunday to the church that he feels the Lord has placed the desire in his heart to help lead and shepherd our church as an Elder/Pastor. You know what I say about that:
“Woohoo!! Praise the Lord!!”
This is Dale’s family…
That’s Dale, Lori and their daughter Chloe. I love that family!
Now back to my story…why was I able to take off last Friday? Two reasons…
#1 Dale has been helping me in the church. He’s been helping with the “people needs.” Counseling, meeting with folks, visiting homes, hospitals and resthomes. He’s helping me with all of our mission work, administrating and coordinating our upcoming trip (a team of 39 of us are leaving Saturday for Texas and Mexico). His help has been invaluable.
Reason #2 that I was able to take a day off last Friday was the fact that my family was gone for five days prior to that. While they were gone, I literally worked almost non-stop. I ate sandwiches beside my computer. Again, I’m leaving for Mexico for a week this Saturday, so there is so much to do to get ready. But, I hammered it out…let me tell ya! And so, by the time they got back home from visiting Katy and Josh (in Havelock, NC) last week, I was able to be “ahead of the game.” So, I surprised the kids (and Pam) and on Thursday night I said, “I’m taking off tomorrow (Friday).” They said, “What?!!!!” I said, “Yep, Daddy’s taking off and we are going to Cascade Falls and have a picnic and we’re going to the big slide in W. Jefferson and we’re going to eat ice cream!” They jumped up and down squealing! We had a blast!
Is it wrong to spend some time with my family? No!
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 3 that as and Elder/Pastor I should never think I can look after and shepherd a church if I’m not doing a good job in my own home first. I thought to myself, you “Big Dummy,” you’ve got to do this more often. But here’s the problem. I have simply not been able to because I haven’t had the time. There is just too much to do and yet…hear my heart…I’m simply not wired to let people down. If our people have needs and they send me an email or call me or whatever…how do I put them off? How do I tell someone who is struggling, “I don’t have time for you.” I can’t do that! I just can’t. So, I do it and I’m glad to do it. But, there comes a place and time that your work and yes…my time with my family begins to look like this…
Yes…that’s Swiss cheese and I don’t like eating it any better than I like admitting that my ministry is beginning to look like it. But, it’s the truth and I guess there’s something freeing just admitting that you are at your limit. So there… I said it… I’m at my limit. I can’t do any more than I’m doing. I’m pushing the accelerator to the floor and the car is winding out its maximum RPM’s and the speedometer needle is pegged.
But, knowing that there is the opportunity for Dale to officially become and Elder/Pastor (pending a vote by the church on August 3), I’m feeling overjoyed! Have you ever been trying to pick up something heavy and someone comes and helps you and you say, “Wow…that sure helped make that easier!” That’s how I feel!
So, I hope to be able to do a better job at what I feel gifted in doing. I love to teach, preach and train. I’ve got young men in the church who desire to grow to the point that they are elders one day…but, I don’t have time to train and teach them. But, I want to so badly and if Dale can come on board and give more time…then, I’ll be more effective and my ministry will not be like Swiss cheese.