My Daddy Fights Monsters for a Living : A Pastor’s Job Description

IMG_2978A couple of days ago I asked Hudson, “What Does Daddy do for a job.” He thought about it for a while and said to me, “Sermons…and hmm….fight monsters.” It’s at moments like this that I love my son. He’s so amazing, surprising, and so absolutely right.

That’s correct – he is right – I write sermons and fight monsters for a living. I think that’s a pretty concise explanation of my job as a pastor. And here is why Hudson is right.

I asked him why he said that daddy fights monsters, and here was his answer. “Because you work for God daddy. And God fights all the monsters in my room, he keeps me safe, he gives me good sleep. You work with God, so you fight monsters too.”  Hudson thought that since I work for God, I must do the things that God does. Which of course in his mind is mostly keeping him safe, fighting away the monsters of the world, and being his friend. That is actually a pretty good description of what God is up to in this world. I’ve read a lot of worse ones actually.

The point is this, for Hudson, those who follow God should be doing the same things as God. And this is why he’s brilliant and grasped something most Christians seem to forget – that God’s mission is our mission. Hudson might be using the language of a three-year old but it is true nonetheless. Christians need to be following God in what he is doing in the world. To follow Jesus, means to live and love like Jesus in this world. If God is fighting monsters, Christians need to be fighting monsters. If God is about grace, Christians need to be about grace. If God is about justice we need to be about justice. If God is about blessing, hospitality and life, we need to be about hospitality, life, and blessing.

Hudson simply intuitively gets that if we are following someone, we need to live like them. So my question for you is simple: are you living like Jesus in this world? Are you partnering with what he is doing in this world? Are you actively giving life, grace, hope, and seeking justice and his Kingdom?

Because regardless of where you work, as Christians, our calling is the same, to live like Jesus in this world. That means doing the same things that Jesus did, that means following the Spirit in his activity, that means working for the plans of the Father.  Christians are called to live like Christ.

So this week live like Jesus, and get involved in what he is doing in the world. And don’t forget to “fight monsters” too 😉

Grace and peace

 

Competition in the Kingdom ~ Pastor’s, Parking Spaces, and Privilege

I’d like to let you in to the secret world of “professional ministry”. Want to know the number one question that comes up between pastors? No it’s not, “How has God been faithful to you?” and it’s not even “Are things busy?”

The number one question that comes up in the beginning of most pastoral first meetings is this: “How big is your church?”

Now it doesn’t come up right away but often near the beginning of a first conversation when pastors meet. They ask where the church is located, what denomination, and then eventually try to feel out the size of the church. While it might be unintentional, what is often perceived is that if your church is large, you’re doing well. And if your church isn’t large that maybe you’re not as successful.

But here is the problem with that perspective, and why it matters for you even if you’re not a pastor.

First off, we need to remember that the church belongs to God, and not to a pastor anyway. What this means is that we don’t own what we are called to shepherd and serve. Secondly, size doesn’t mean you are being successful. Being successful means being faithful. And both of these two principles are true in any profession, role, or calling. We do not own what we have been given, and being successful has nothing to do with size, profit margin increase, new promotions, bigger houses, or better parking spaces. Being successful is about being faithful to what God has called you to do.

So if God has called you to be faithful in raising you kids, do it to the best of your ability. Who cares if your neighbours’ kids get better grades. Focus on being faithful. If God has called you to start a business, who cares if your MBA friend has launched one bigger and faster. Focus on being faithful to your calling. And if the pastor down the street has a bigger church, God bless it, because your calling isn’t to be large, it’s to be faithful.

In essence, in God’s Kingdom our callings don’t need to compete. Asking the question who will be the greatest in the kingdom – isn’t a kingdom question. Because in God’s Kingdom our different callings don’t compete with one another, they complement and complete God’s plan.

I learned this from my son. We were racing around the house, and this time I won. He started dancing all around and said “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, you win…Daddy I win too! You first and I’m first. We’re all first”.  This is maybe something Christians, and pastors in particular, should learn. We don’t need to compete, in Christ we’re all first…