I was so saddened earlier this week to read the news about a pastor taking his own life after battling depression and anxiety. It really brought into sharp focus for me the struggle that pastors have on a day to day basis, and my own battle with depression back when I was in my early 20s. My heart breaks as I look at the photos of his wife and kids left behind. This post isn't about suicide prevention; but I've got some things on my heart that need to be shared.
I know. you never feel like this right?
So the other day, I was feeling pretty down. I'd had a pretty tough few days. Sunday had been a bit of a battle (Contrary to what is commonly reported in the media, pastoring does not always involve rainbows, lollipops and unicorns.)
And it was Monday. I don't think there is a Bi-vocational pastor out there that loves Monday morning. Sunday is tiring, you're giving, and serving, and loving, and praying, and preaching, and teaching, and counselling, and consoling, and exhorting. And now it's Monday, and you have to put food on the table for the family. It's easy to get discouraged.
A case study on the life of Sir Ernest Shackleton, authored by Paul Records.
Note to Readers:
The following case study highlights a 1914—1916 expedition to the Antarctic led by British explorer Ernest Shackleton. Though it took place far outside of the context of church leadership, it provides valuable insight on the philosophy needed to succeed in a context of chaos. When the ship, Endurance, was destroyed by the ice the entire crew was forced into a two-year crisis of survival.
The purpose of this case study is to enhance one’s philosophy of leadership and to also provide a real-world example of a leader who, in spite of apparent disaster, was able to led a team to accomplish the impossible.
What moves you? Or perhaps it's better to ask "what should you be moved by?" In the last couple of posts, I've shared two things that I need to be intentional about. Things that are just too important to leave to chance. Because by nature I am really cruisey; very happy just to let life roll on by. Sometimes the relaxed approach to life is really handy, the old "water off a duck's back" routine. But there are things in life where you need to grab the proverbial bull by the proverbial horns and ride it into the sunset (preferably a proverbial one). I've ridden a mechanical bull once, but that's another story...
So we've been talking about things that need to "move" us. Things that we need to wake up to, and not just "cruise" along with. Another word we could use would be intentional. Deliberate. Purposeful. The first thing we spoke about was our approach to God. We have to be intentional in our approach to God. If you missed the first post, you can find it here.
The other thing I've found is that I need to be intentional about building my relationship with Janie. For those who don't know, Janie is my amazing wife with whom I've been privileged to spend the last 9 years of my life with.
I'm so much like my Poppy was...
I absentmindedly take another sip of my tall black filter coffee as I drive down toward my destination. I've just dropped Jonathan off at daycare. It's about 7 am, and I'm heading towards the church just to spend a little time in prayer. As I pull up at a set of traffic lights and take another sip of coffee, I notice the lady in the white Hyundai next to me takes a sip from her coffee. In the back seat, I see a car seat, much the same as mine, in the same position as mine: the back seat, left-hand side. I glance into my review mirror and notice the lady in the Volkswagen behind me take a sip of her coffee... and that she too has a car seat that looks the same as mine, in the same position as mine.
I can't remember the exact time, but it was on Saturday 21st of March, 2015 when Pastor Bill Morris called me and dropped a change of direction into my (and my family's) life. It was a phone call that only lasted a few minutes - but he wanted to know if I would be willing to pastor a church in Cairns.
I'm a Husband and a Daddy, a minister, a teacher and preacher, writer, youth leader, blogger, and servant of a great God.