After each child hits the one-year mark, I seem to come out from this fog and have more energy for all the stuff I’ve been wanting to do and ignoring. Baby #3 is now, pleasantly and happily, one and we’ve weathered this first year without too many battles and/or casualties. I’ve heard loads of stories of churches not being exactly pastoral to their pastors on Family Leave, but I’m so proud of my little church for not being one of ‘those’ churches. They stepped up to leadership during my time off and were very understanding when I needed 2 weeks more than expected.
As I was reflecting on the people with whom I serve, and the people that I serve, I had a Jerry Maguire inspired thought: you make me want to become a better pastor. I know that I have grown a lot these past 3 years, and I can feel my ministry becoming more personal and powerful because of our growing relationships. I also know that growth would not have been possible without support and encouragement. One of my church members made a book shelf for my office – for me! – when I first got here. Before I had done anything. He and his wife said they knew the study and prayer it would take to be a faithful minister and they let me know that I had their trust … from the outset. That gift has stayed with me and strengthened my resolve and committment over and over again.
So, to all of you reading, letting people know you believe in them and where they are heading can have a huge lasting impact on them and your relationship with them. Remember how important those little acts of trust and kindness can be and sow seeds of peace!