It’s been nearly a year and a half since I’ve blogged.
A lot has changed since then.
As a family, we’re a full-fledged family of six. Gone are the days of kids taking care of themselves; or putting stuff wherever we want without thought. Declan, our youngest son, is fast, tall, and fearless. It’s fun but exhausting.
Our wonderful little church plant is an established community of faith with far more details and needs than I can handle on my own.
I am the father of a teenager. There aren’t enough words to accurately explain how much this has changed my world. She’s great, but she’s thirteen.
Possibly the biggest change is that I’ve found myself more needy than ever before.
I’m having to reorganize the way I approach almost every area of my life.
With a big and busy family, Anita and I are recognizing a need for dedicated couple time. Which tends to be in short supply.
Parenting young children is easy. Physically exhausting, yes. But easy. This new season with older daughters is a humbling, character testing, and mentally draining experience. Nothing will remind you of how unworthy you are of God’s love like parenting.
These days I’m even having to learn a new approach to ministry. For years I was the passionately outspoken young man swimming upstream or charging up the hill. Now that Grace Collective is a stable young church, she requires more than just a wild-eyed dreaming leader. I’m learning a lot about leadership and myself.
The area that is probably most difficult is friendship. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got some incredible people around me. However, leadership is lonely. No other staff position I’ve ever held comes close to the around-the-clock feeling of concern for the people of a church. As much as our staff, elders, or volunteers may care, there is no way to understand the burden of a pastor until you serve in this role.
To complicate matters, I naturally want all my friends to come to church with me. But as soon as they start attending GCC, I become more than just a friend; I’m their pastor. This brings a layer of separation relationally that is unavoidable.
I’m not complaining. There’s nothing I would rather do; absolutely nothing. This is simply the reality of my life these days. My hope is that perhaps some other pastor reads this and realizes that he’s not the only one.
So here’s hoping I’ll start writing more. Perhaps it will serve as an outlet I’ve neglected for far too long.