Posts Tagged ‘ pastor ’

Misplaced Stickers?

Saturday morning I took my son Micah to Lowes to build a dune buggy out of wood.  This is becoming a Saturday morning ritual whenever it is available.  Ever since he was old enough to understand we have been having “Man Day”.  One of his first sentences was, “No girls allowed”.  (I taught him that…haha)  We love to do projects and ball games and music stores on our “Man Day” outings.  So we are building this “Dune Buggy” (looked more like a tank, but who am I to judge?) and towards the completion of our project I realized this day brought about a new challenge.  Usually I place the nails into the pre-drilled holes as instructed and then let him pound the mess out them while protecting my fingers.  All the pieces were nailed and it was time to place the stickers!  Being the obsessive compulsive type, I wanted all the stickers to go exactly where the picture says they should go!  As he peeled off his first sticker he informed me that it went on the back and I cringed as he placed it in the wrong place.  I could not convince him otherwise and it is his dune buggy tank, so I just backed down and let him proceed.  Only two stickers ended up where I wanted them to go, and that is because I insisted that the side window cannot go on the bottom!  

I had a crucial realization as we were working together that rocked my way of thinking and put into light something that I hope I never forget.  As his daddy it is not my job to force him into being just like me and doing things the way I would do them.  I am only there to guide and make sure that he doesn’t get too far off track.  It goes deeper!  As a pastor, I am not supposed to have all the answers for each person’s life.  I am merely there to guide with scriptural wisdom and insight, not force every person at Awestruck into the “Josh Box”.  God has created us as individuals with our own personality and purpose.  My role is to educate and inspire my folks to find the path that God has specifically designed for them and then make sure they don’t get too far off track.


The Hardest Part….

is getting to know yourself and making yourself vulnerable in front of a room of “acquaintances”.  People who don’t seem to have any weaknesses?  It is not easy to admit that I am not “perfect”.  Deep down I know that they don’t expect perfection, but I still hold strong reservations about filleting my innermost doubts to the room.  The fact: It is a necessity to become more aware of who I truly am.  Only as I grow in my awareness of who I am and who I am not will I further myself as a man.  As I grow in my understanding of my strengths and weakness then I can be a better husband, father, friend, mentor and Pastor.  As I sat in that room of Pastors today, I realized that we might have the hardest time admitting our downfalls in life.  Our churches look to us for guidance and leadership.  In the midst of that we forget that the most precious gift we can give them is Honesty.  I must be honest about my struggles and failures.  After all, I am merely a wretch saved by God’s grace.  I am as undeserving as anyone else, but He called me to Pastor a church.  It is in my weakness that He is made strong.  It is in my honesty that the people God has called me to lead will understand that grace and forgiveness are real.  

This is what I have taken away from my first day of Gallup Certification for Strengths Coaching.  The odd thing is that we never discussed any of this!  It was an internal struggle all day long as we worked through each exercise.  The more we talked about helping others through their strengths, the more I thought of my own struggles.  I cannot wait to see what God has in store for tomorrow!

You like to do what?

One of my favorite things to do as a Pastor is weddings.  Not all pastors love it, but I really enjoy every part of it.  I am doing my first official wedding as an official pastor in a few weeks.  I have done many weddings, but none as a lead pastor of my own church.  I love everything from the premarital counseling to the actual ceremony.  I don’t know why.  I usually don’t attend weddings that I am not having a part in.  Weddings are not really my thing, but performing weddings is something I truly enjoy.  There is something about the act of bringing two people together and getting to play a role in preparing them for all the excitement (and frustration, and hard work) that marriage brings.  In my optimistic mind, it is a chance to see a marriage that will last and not be given up on when times get tough.  Not a typical marriage in today’s time, where the couple stops putting forth the effort when it stops being convenient for them.  One of those marriages where the couples grows in love and doesn’t “fall out of love” too easily.  To me, it is a huge honor to be asked to take part in such a special day.  A day that will change both participants lives forever.  

My upcoming wedding will be one of the most special for me since I am very close to both the bride and groom.  They are my friends and partners in the Awestruck journey.  I was humbled in our first session when they were asked “Do you know someone that has a great marriage?” and both of them answered Me and Shannon.  What a high calling to not only be the officiating officer, but also the life mentor for Newly Weds.  If more people would choose to love their spouse and stick by them in all situations like they promised in their vows, I don’t think such a large number of my friends in their 20’s and 30’s would be on their second marriage!  Of all the weddings I have done, I am most looking forward to the Ricketts finally saying “I Do”.  

Different is Good

It is interesting to me how God works.  He has created each of us so different.  Different talents, personalities, abilities, and passions.  Yet, when He created us He had a specific purpose for each of us to accomplish.  I was reminded of how perfectly God will sculpt our path this weekend by hanging out with Mike and Jason. These two guys are different from me and each other.  They are both church planters in Greensboro and we are all so different.  It is so awesome to see how God is raising up young men to reach a new generation.  He is placing them in the perfect locations to minister to the people around them.  Each one of us is using our individuality to create the ideal church for our surroundings.  None of our churches are the same, but each of us is united in a vision to bring the life changing hope, peace and love that only Jesus can bring.  We are bound by our passion to see a city revitalized.  It is good to know that I am not alone in my pursuit.  It is incredible to be surrounded by all these guys for the support and accountability they provide.   

Strength in Numbers!

I love hanging out with other guys that share my dream and vision of pastoring and church planting.  Today I got to spend some time with Chris, Tadd, and Brandon.  I ate too many chips at Chilli”s, but had a blast.  There is definitely strength in numbers and I believe God is raising up young men all over the world to reach a new generation.  It is good to spend time with people that have the same struggles, desires, questions, and passion as you.  It lets me know that I am not as crazy as most people think I am…haha.  God is already blowing our minds with what He is doing through Pine Ridge and Awaken.

The Awestruck team is another group of people that shares my vision and dreams.  We talked about discipleship last night.  Wow!  Those guys are so amazing.  We came up with a great definition of true discipleship and measures of spiritual maturity.  I will share more in upcoming blogs. This journey to Awestruck is making me stand amazed at what God is capable to accomplish!

Can I ask you a few Questions?

This morning I did a phone interview with Greg Penna from the NAMB.  He is with the resource development for the church planting group.  It was good for me to answer some questions about Awestruck.  Questions like who are we trying to reach, how are we going to do it, and what our church is going to look like.  Hopefully, he is going to use the interview in an article sent out to a ton of different churches.  The goal is to explain and promote new church plants.  Pretty exciting stuff!  Awestruck is getting our name on the map and we haven’t even started. I shared with Greg that Awestruck is all about genuine relationships.  I believe that if the people we are going to reach wanted to go to church, they would already be going.  Our goal is to engage our community so we can reach our community.  Not in a false way just to get them to come, but truly build relationships with people.  Jesus was all about people!  Awestruck will be all about people!  We don’t need to make church so complicated.  Our goal is to show how Jesus fits and completes our daily life by teaching it and showing it by the way we live.  Awestruck is more than a church, it is a genuine community encountering Christ.  I really believe that living for Jesus is the adventure of a lifetime.  Awestruck exists to help people along that Journey.