Grow Up Church! My Lesson of Covid - I Am A Pastor NOT Paul!

 I don’t know what you’ve learned during the past year or so of this pandemic but one thing I know is that I cannot do it all.  I know, I know what Paul writes to the church at Corinth that everyone brings up: “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some (9:22b)” and you know something? I am not Paul either!

I learned in my first pulpit how easily folks can take words out of context and how we, as clergy, get lifted to places where we really don’t belong.  I have sought more than anything to encourage people on their faith journey rather than become wrapped up in apologetics and the debating of so many.  At times I have been critical, mainly about Pop-Christianity that would rather align itself with worldliness whether that is progressive-liberals or conservative-evangelicals.

All the while, I have been more critical of myself. That is a little secret you may not know, we clergy are harder on ourselves than anyone else can be. So when throwing out critiques about how clergy don’t preach good enough, don’t visit enough, don’t call enough, aren’t good enough leaders, don’t lead all the Bible studies and take care of the nursery or, ‘gasp’... take time off, etc…you are joining a party we are already hours into.

Covid didn’t make it any easier. For many clergy, it made things harder because now they were trying to be YouTube stars and figure out all this technology and video editing.

In the end, clergy are not being allowed to be the one God truly called them to be: themselves.  And when this happens, the church is missing out.

The Church needs elders and deacons, the clergy, to be who God is shaping them to be.  In these days and times of change, the Church needs to grow up.  That is something else Paul wrote to the Corinthian church: 

“I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, (3:2).”

You can run Chromecast better than your pastor.  You all can run a cell phone camera better than your pastor.  You can also read your Bible and lead a study probably as well as your pastor.  You can get on the phone and call and talk to a shut-in, likely better than some pastors.  Some can preach better than your pastor.  I guarantee some of ya’ll sing better than THIS pastor!

To do this, you need to change your habit and approach to being the Church and if there was a time, it is right now!  

Claudia Velandia shares these four steps to change a habit:

First step: Awareness. Recognize when you are acting or about to act according to your old habit, and stop yourself immediately.

Second step: Ask why. Bring into your awareness the reasons it is essential for you to stop this old habit and create a new one.

Third step: Conscious direction. In your awareness, use your choice and willpower to direct the creation of a new habit.

Fourth step: Determination. This is key because your brain will oppose you. Don’t give up—continue working on and repeating the new habit until it becomes ingrained.

Now, let's put aside what Paul said for a moment, and remember what Jesus said: 

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Grow up and change your habits!

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