Pastor Preston has been in Louisville, Kentucky for the Covenant Church Midwinter Conference. Preston shares a few posts about what it means for us to grow into God’s invitation to serve our city together.
There is a journalist who wrote a book about being 10% happier. He had faced a near total mental breakdown and realized he needed to change. So he created an incremental plan to find meaningful practices and learn new ways of being happy. His theory is that 10% might not seem like much, but over time it adds up.
The journey of faith is sometimes done in small intervals, we might say, 10% at a time. This week I am in Louisville, Kentucky, at the Covenant Church Midwinter Conference. Hundreds of pastors gather to take regular and intentional steps towards being healthier spiritual leaders for our communities. The theory is that if a pastor is consistently seeking to learn, grow, be challenged and encouraged, they will be healthier and this will have an impact on their community, their local church, and beyond. Studies show that when pastors take a number of small steps towards continued health by learning to go deeper in prayer, learning, skills, and passion, they can in turn care for others well and together the church thrives.
There are four areas where we are learning to grow. Although these are key areas for pastors, they are vital areas for all of us as we learn to share our gifts together.
The interior life of spirituality and character. How are we fostering a deeper self understanding and nurturing a tender and authentic heart shaped by God’s Spirit?
Ministry Skills. How are we developing our abilities and technical skills and gifts so that they can come to life to be used by God in the very important places where God has called us?
Relational IQ. How are we learning to attend to others as individuals, groups, and broader communities; so much spiritual health comes when we care well for each other.
Biblical and Theological depth. How are we shaping our heart, soul, and minds? Do we read the Bible and other books regularly and transformationally?
Being a pastor is one of the greatest joys of my life. Why? Because God has called me to this. Here’s the cool part - God has called you. He has called you and gifted you to serve together with the whole family of God to join in on this amazing life of faith. You are uniquely gifted to do something wonderful with God in the world God loves. How? I believe it’s just 10% at a time. Bit by bit, and always together, we at Lake Ridge are learning to go deeper in love, faith, hope, and trust.
At Augustine once said to his church, “For you I am a pastor, with you I am a Christian.” Together we are using our gifts to encourage each other and serve God faithfully in our city. May you know the depth to which you are loved, and the extent to which God has invited you into all that God is doing around and through us. The future is bright.