It’s been eight years.
Eight years ago today I was ordained. I was made a minister of God to serve his people, called by his church. Pastors that I didn’t yet know (but would soon learn to love as brothers) laid their hands on me and gave blessings. It was a hot, hot day.
And now I’ve been a pastor for eight years.
Eight-year-olds generally don’t know a whole lot. They think they do, and it’s true, they’ve learned a lot, but they’ve got a long way to go, don’t they? They can read, but not terribly well. They can sports pretty hard, but not with a lot of skill, generally. They can music with zeal, but not always in tune.
I feel that’s me. I’ve come a long way since I was ordained, since I started this blog, since my first trembling steps as a minister. But man, I still know next to nothing.
And it’s weird… because I’m starting to be the person to go to for other ministers.
This week, a minister called me for some advice about dealing with a church council situation. I’ve been contacted by other pastors, wondering if maybe they have depression. I’ve begun informal mentoring of some younger ministers. A pastor that’s been at this a lot longer than me wants help designing a sermon series.
How did this happen?
I’m not the expert. Not at all! I struggle! I’m clueless!
And there’s this battle. Maybe you can identify with it. One part of me just says, “Well, yeah, about time they caught on! After all, you’re awesome!” And the other part says, “Clearly they’re deluded. You’re just faking it. You’re nothing.”
And both sides are wrong.
I am something.
I am Christ’s.
See, Jesus has given me abilities. And he gets all the credit. I don’t have any worth in me other than the fact that Jesus chose to die for me, to make me his brother, to claim me as his own. I have worth that cannot be lost because his love cannot be lost.
And Jesus, who has given me these abilities, says, “Go. What you do matters.” And so I go.
Oh, I fall off into the ditch on either side all the time. I think that I should be getting more praise. I think that I’m worthless. Back and forth constantly.
But the truth is neither.
The truth is that for now, at least, Jesus has placed me in a congregation to lead other people to him. I’ve been called to train his people for acts of service. I’ve been positioned to reach those who do not yet know Jesus. And he has chosen me to be here.
I matter, because Jesus has made it so.
And so… eight years. Not a decade yet. A little bit farther to go. A lot more to learn.
But I’ve been blessed and come so far already.
Eight years down. Let’s see how much farther God has planned for me.