Being intentional with others

Well it has been almost a month since my last blog and my stay at home vacation was a nice break.  Theoretically I should be ready to go!  I hope so.

Much has happened since Christmas and not just church stuff.  My biggest regret over my time off was still watching the news.  However I have taken some important time to reflect on my spiritual journey, my role as a pastor and what we as the followers of Christ are called to do.

Some things that I believe are important for myself in my spiritual journey.  I want to be more intentional in my relationship with others.  Whether they are family, friends, co-workers or the folks that I encounter in life.  What I mean by this is not to blow by people, but to take time to be with people.

As a pastor, I can get caught up in the big picture of things happening in the congregation and the greater church.  I want to work on focusing on the everyday situations, looking more closely at what are the needs of individuals, rather that the greater whole.  Sometimes I lose sight of the one when I focus on the many.  Pastoral leadership should be a balance of both.

Being a Christian is not always easy and particularly in terms of how many define what it means to be “Christian”.  I believe that more and more that we are followers of Christ.  This means we transcend, cultural, political or doctrinal labels living out the faith in ways that are more authentic or real as Jesus taught and lived.  The question might be asked, am I dropping the label or title of “Christian”?  On the contrary, I will certainly own that name but not as the world seems to want to define it.

All three of these visions for myself, the people and places I see myself living in are from a Jesus centered perspective.  My one grand-daughter told me I can’t retire from being a pastor.  I am not sure where that came from, but I believe in a way she spoke a powerful truth. I can’t retire from being a child of God, a servant in Christ, a follower of Jesus, these are all who I am.

Someday my role as pastor will change, but the essential parts of who I am will not.  How I live out my life as a follower of Christ will change, but I will always be a follower of the One who loves and saves me.