Sunday, July 4, 2010
A Tale of Two Churches
"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." The time of your life when you begin an exciting but possibly stressful adventure - the new job. In my case I've got double the excitement and double the stress. I'm the lucky one to be newly appointed to two churches as an Associate Pastor of Family Ministries. I split my time between them during the week and alternate Sundays.
Starting any new job has its ups and downs but these two have particular aspects that make them most unique:
The Worst of Times: (some of the challenges I'll face with this new appointment)
1) Are we there yet? Both churches are a good distance from my house. One is in Marietta and has the possibility for some major traffic jams. This week its taken me 45-60 minutes to get there. The other is in Cartersville and takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
2) Where am I? Keeping track of what church, what day, and who all the different names and faces are will force me to be mega-organized and to rely on my memory that may not be as sharp as it used to be after three kids.
3) What day off? Both of these churches are new churches (about two years old). Having worked at a new church before, I can tell you that it is a LOT of work. I'm sure both churches could fill up my working hours in a full time capacity but I'm only appointed part-time at each. I'm definitely going to have to delegate, equip others, and get used to saying "NO."
The Best of Times: (the things I'm really gonna like)
1) Time to myself. I know the commute will get old sooner rather than later, but getting away from the kids and from work during the ride will be a welcome change. I plan to get a lot of praying done and to listen to my Bible on my iPod. It was during my commute to Buckhead, when I was a computer programmer, that I fleshed out my call to ministry so I'm hoping that this time alone will help me transform the world.
2) Variety. Sacred Tapestry and The Church at The Well are VERY different churches. Different from the church I grew up in and different from each other. I know that most people think that church is church so I won't go into details here but if you were to visit both you'd understand - we're not just thinking outside the box; we're shocked to find there was a box to start with and we're recycling it for better use.
3) Recalled to life. The main theme of Dickens' novel "A Tale of Two Cities" was resurrection. Many of his characters were given opportunities to have second chances and make their lives better. With each new church I go to, I look at it as an opportunity to take what I've learned and bring something new to the table. I get to flex my creative muscles and take things to a whole new level which intrigues me on a personal and professional level. By doing so, my goal is to enable people to experience a new life in Christ, to participate in His resurrection and transform the world. So honestly it matters not whether I'm part-time, full-time, or over-time, but whether I'm using the time God gives me to use the gifts He's given me. If I succeed in that, then I can say in the end "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known."
If you are ever in Cartersville or Marietta visit me at The Well or Sacred Tapestry, but please remind me of your name (and which church I'm at if possible).
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