Monday, February 08, 2010

Hand to the Plow

Willimon, at study conference, was incredible. Better in person than on podcast. I also love his books. I got his autograph.

I know it’s hard to believe that there are days when I get discouraged in ministry. Days when I feel like looking back after putting my hand to the plow. Days when I update my resume and cruise the list of pastoral vacancies. Or days when I think of getting out the pastor gig altogether.

When I have those days one of Willimon’s podcasts downloads from iTunes. And he always says something that re-energizes me about ministry and the church. He reminds me that churches are filled with people, sinful, petty, small - just like the disciples. And he further reminds me that I’m no different from them. I just have a collar around my neck. Not a halo over my head.

But more importantly, I learn that it’s not my job to “care” for people. My job is to tell people about Jesus. I am not in the “helping profession.” I am in the Jesus profession. My job is to preach. And sometimes preaching means wounding - even killing - so that we can rise again, a new creation. My job is not to make people feel good about themselves, but to help them grow as Christians.

There are days when I don’t care for people as much as I feel I should. But that’s why I preach a Word that is not mine, but a Word that belongs to Great Lover of the World. It’s not me who loves, but God, through me.

When I realized that, then I can put my hand back on the plow.

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