Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Job Descriptions

A friend of mine told me that he never thought "florist" would be part of his job description but in the church you end up doing crazy things you'd have never thought were part of a staff ministry position. Not that you're above these things per se but in reality it really never crossed your mind that you'd be doing them. Here are a few of mine.

1) Cow herder: The third week that I was on staff at Brooks UMC I was coming back from lunch with the Pastor and he got a call on his cell phone. Mrs. Mask's cows had "gotten out" and she needed some help. Now up until this point I'd never heard of anything getting out but the cat or the dog. And I wasn't sure how a cow actually "got out" either. They didn't seem to be real fast or high jumpers. But in any case Mrs. Jane was a widow and needed someone with an off road vehicle to find her cows. So Randy and I went off with Mrs. Jane to find the cattle that had wandered so far off from their pasture. I just know there's a good shepherd ministry metaphor there somewhere.

2) Doctor/nurse: Now I know that Jesus was all about healing, and I know that safety is important, but I was a bit overwhelmed on my first youth retreat with the amount of pills that parents gave me to administer to their children on a daily basis. Some of them were just a once a day thing but others had strict instructions about when and what to eat with it. As my attention on these trips is a bit focused elsewhere I quickly learned how to delegate a nurse on each trip. I also believe that to date I've taken 3 kids to the hospital and bandaged more cuts than I'd care to think about.

3) Exterminator: I don't know many girls that like bugs and I'm no exception, but there are two catagories of girls' reactions to bugs 1) stompers or 2) screamers. I don't necessarily volunteer to be the stomper but I'm definitely not a screamer. And at some of the youth cabins we've stayed at, I've had to be the designated stomper in order to stop the screaming. My husband has been an exterminator as well, pulling a dead possum out of the attic at Turin UMC.

4) Target: My friends in ministry are unfortunately acutely aware of this job. It is a sad position that is also the reason so many people call Christians hypocrites.

5) Janitor: At some point or another we've all had to do it. Unclog a toilet that wasn't ours, mop the floors after VBS, steam clean the carpets before VBS, be on garbage patrol after a youth party, find more toilet paper before a lock-in, and the list goes on and on and on...

There are many more but these stand out as the "dirty jobs" of a Pastor - or at least ones that you may not expect.

Until Everyone Hears,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I love the night life, I like to bullet.

If you can't tell, I'm a bullet-er. A list maker if you will. Need something done? I'll start a list. Going to the grocery store? Can't do it without a list. Shopping for Christmas? Where's the list?

I have a to do list every week and a short term and long term goal list. Perhaps I'm a bit obsessed and should try and wean myself but it hasn't made the list yet.

Lists are Biblical. 10 commandments, Beatitudes, the begats or lists of ancestry, the apostles, the lists of tribes, the lists of things not to eat, the lists of kings. Proverbs is really a list of pithy sayings. And the rest of the Bible is just a list of Books consisting of a list of chapters with lists of verses. There's also St. Peter's list in the Book of Life. Santa's list - while not really a Biblical figure is associated with Christianity. And still puts fear in me near Christmas.

So the other day I was making my New Year's resolutions list. I'm really not one for resolutions but since I hadn't updated my goals in awhile, I decided to make a NEW LIST!! Yeah me! I also was reading my cousin-in-law's blog and she posted her "to-do" list right on her blog! What a great way to be held accountable. So I'm doing the same thing. Here's what I've got so far:

1) Read through the Bible again in 2009
2) Maintain a healthy weight, exercise routine and diet.
3) Finish scrapbook to date, Dori’s baby book, and start online scrap-booking
4) Dave Ramsey’s baby steps
5) Organize, decorate, and arrange my house until it’s uber comfy
6) Plan anniversary vacation
7) Finish Roxy’s training
8) Help John and Shane thrive; Dori – development and Kindermusik
9) Take a class or workshop non-job related.
10) Have over 200 in worship at Lighthouse
11) Finish writing my book.

Okay I really wanted to stick with 10 but that last one came to me today and I think I need to get it done next year. I'm 1/3 through so I should just do it.

I know that some of these are ambitious but I'm not thinking of them as a 2009 to do list but rather a to-do list for life. I also see this as an opportunity for 11 more blogs!

Hope you can help me with these. And let me know if I can help you with yours. What are your goals for the next year? Post them here if you wish.

Until Everyone Hears,

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Families Prepare for ???

I'm preaching tomorrow and I'm falling into the trap 85% (in any given week) all pastors fall into - Saturday evening sermon writing. We are in the middle of advent (preparing for Christmas) and also in part of a sermon series called Family First. We're looking at things Families put first and how the Holy Family put certain things first.

So as I usually do with sermon writing, I start with a list. Here's what I have so far. See if you can add to it.

Families prepare for ...

new jobs
school starting
changes in season
the next day
going to bed
date night
family game night

Here's another: The Holy Family prepared for ...

Traveling to Bethlehem
Jesus' arrival
Leaving to go to Egypt
Traveling to the Temple
*What's unusual about all of these is that unexpected twists made these difficult to prepare for so most important thing they could prepare for was being flexible

God prepares us with grace.
We prepare for God by being flexible and open to Him in anything.

Okay that's a start. I'll finish tonight - after all once you've procrastinated, why not put it off even more? Plus I can use the irony of procrastination in my Families Prepare sermon!

Until Everyone Hears,

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Financial Woes

Well the economic crunch is not a myth. At first I thought it was something the media brought up just for ratings. Or something that the left or right wing brought up to influence elections. But no we're feeling here in the Karafanda home and at church so I know its real.

Every Sunday after worship I skip out. I'm on such a high from praising God that I don't want the numbers to let me down. Later on that afternoon I check to see what they are and each week it seems like it just can't get any worse... and it does.

The worst part isn't budget cuts or salary reductions (your truly included), its the spiritual loss that comes from lack of finances. You see when you have a mission that you are truly passionate about, you'll do anything to see it happen and you can easily get depressed or anxious when it doesn't. We have so many hopes and dreams at our church that are slowly fading because we don't have the funds to see them through.

Its the same way with any family. I remember when I was in 3rd grade and my dad lost his job. Actually I didn't find out until he already had another lined up but he went without a job for about three months. My parents had hopes for vacations, college savings plans, nice clothes for me, cars that weren't clunkers. But during this time those things were on hold. In fact they were on hold for much of my childhood. Disappointing yes - especially when I had to pay back some student loans, but it was not devistating.

We got through it and in fact were the better for it. I pray that our church will be too. I know that things will change and our mission won't be carried out in the same way we dreamed at first but I know it will be carried out. And I believe that I'll be lucky enough to see it happen.

Until Everyone Hears.
Dr. K

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