After a thirty plus year hiatus I have once found myself again in the role of pastor. At the end of June I accepted a part-time appointment as pastor to the Forest Road United Methodist Church here in Lynchburg, Virginia. My long-time friend, Larry Davies, the District Superintendent here on the Lynchburg District suggested that serving the Forest Road congregation would be a “wonderful opportunity” for me to put into practice my mission ideas included in my first book, Getting Off Our Buts.
First, I have to admit I accepted the appointment as a favor to Larry, and I did so with more than a little trepidation. I wasn’t sure I could still be an effective pastor. A lot has changed in 30 years. And second, I knew I already had a fairly full plate. I am still appointed to Stop Hunger Now and I am now also an adjunct professor at George Mason University.
Fear often slows me down, which is what it is supposed to do, but I learned long ago never to let it stop me. And even though I knew I would have to walk a scheduling tightrope, I felt that if I was careful I could manage all my commitments. So I now once again find myself in the midst of active pastoral ministry.
And I have to admit something else. I am loving it. There’s definitely all the frustrations I remember from my early days in the pastoral ministry…but there is also the deep joy of seeing folks come alive to the gospel message. I love visiting with folks in their homes. And I am finding it fulfilling to again being in a position where I am daily called to demonstrate real servant leadership.
And even though I wouldn’t admit it to him, Larry was right. Forest Road United Methodist Church is indeed proving to be a “wonderful opportunity” to teach loving and caring folks how we can all get off our buts to make mission happen.
(Oh, and by the way, Getting Off Our Buts is now available on Amazon.)