From Pastor to Barista

Well, it’s been 28 days since my last post.  I hate that.  But that’s what transition tends to do, right?  It can throw our daily routines and normal practices off track.  If we’re not careful those things will not realign.  This can lead you and I to a place of unhealth and confusion.

I want to share with you 3 discoveries I have made since transitioning from a Campus Pastor to a Barista…and since moving from GA to Colorado Springs just 9 days ago.

Routines are easily disrupted during transitions | Before we moved, I had a solid morning routine with God and my wife (Cailey).  I would have my coffee, spend really good time in God’s word and prayer, and then pray with Cailey as she headed out the door for work.  I was also going to the gym regularly.  We enjoyed doing life with an amazing community group on Friday nights.  We had a crazy-awesome church.  All of that has been tossed in the air and fallen in scattered pieces all over the floor.  I’ve had to be very intentional about locating all those pieces and reorganizing them to fit the new life I’m in now.

Transitions will almost always make you question your identity | I think there is proof of this in a previous post I wrote as part of my processing journey.  Nearly 6 years ago I left a spiritually-devastating situation at a church and moved across the country (yep, we’ve done this before) as Cailely became the Children’s Pastor at an incredible church in GA.  I wallowed in my own pain and pity from the prior church hurt for seven months.  Shortly after that, I started working at LifeWay bookstore.  After being in full-time ministry for the majority of my adult life, working in retail again really challenged my integrity.  By that, I mean my identity was placed under a high powered microscope.  I didn’t know it at the time, but God was doing a work in me.  He was preparing me for my next season in ministry (even though I had already told him I was done).  This time I was more prepared.  I’m much more confident in my identity.  I’m still a pastor (at heart and in calling), but I happen to also be a Barista at Starbucks.  Leadership is influence…and I simply know that God has me where I am to be an influence and reflect him.  One final comment on this one.  I love podcasts.  It was a real blessing as we traveled for 5 days to Colorado as I listened to an episode by Lewis Howes.  He was interviewing Brad Lomenick on his new book.  Wow…I was blown away hearing how Brad had gone through his own transition and identity issues after stepping down from leading Catalyst.  His book is next on my reading list for sure!

It can become easy to get self-centered | Really!  For example, I have a new job (so does my wife).  I have just moved across the country (so has my family).  My emotions are all over the place most days (so are my family’s).  See what I mean?  If I’m not careful, I will neglect my place of husband and father.  The very real challenge is recognizing when I’m focusing on myself and then to intentionally reach out to them.  I’m still figuring this one out.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not an expert on this topic.  I’m still growing through this new season…and I know there will continue to be more as long as I have breath in this life.

Can you relate to any of these?  How have you weathered through these seasons in the past?

Today, may the Lord bless you in whatever changes you are going through.  Remember, they are never pointless.  God has a purpose, and it’s usually going to shape or grow you for something.  Look at it as training camp.  You want to be prepared, right?

Comments are always welcome.

 

Pastoral Inventory

2  things every Senior Pastor should take a personal inventory of:

1)  Are there people in your church who spend more time talking to you than Jesus?

Now don’t let that question offend you.  Let me explain.  Many pastors experience the occasional ‘concerned‘ church member.  You know these people.  They usually don’t have an appointment when they stop by your office, and they want to tell you about all the things that are wrong in the church.  If they are not spending more time praying about their intensions and their own possible contribution to a solution, they don’t need to be consuming portions of your valuable time.  Practice being a good steward of your time.  Make every minute worth something.

2)  Are you very aware of specific needs (both personal & professional) of each member of your pastoral staff team?

In the last 20 years of ministry, I’m disgusted to say that the MAJORITY of churches I’ve served in have been lead by pastors who were not at all in touch with their staff.  Whether your church office consists of only one pastor and a part-time admin assistant, or a full-time team of 30 ministers…connection matters.  Ministry teams are very different than sales or marketing teams in the corporate America cubical.  I’m going to make a very strong statement here.  If your Lead Pastor does not genuinely care about you and what you’ve got going on in your life…he/she will not care about anything of spiritual relevance in your area of ministry.  Lead Pastors need to be actively ‘in the know’ with their staff and praying for them regularly.

Are you a Lead Pastor, and do you struggle with either of these in your church?  Are you a support staff at your church, and what have been your experiences?

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