This past Sunday we concluded our Sucker Punched series. I’m glad. I’m a little emotionally drained by it. A few times, as some of you may have noticed, my allergies kicked in during my message and it might have looked like I was a little weepy. I wasn’t. I’m too masculine for such displays. For my concerned guy friends, you’ll be pleased to know I’m now on Clairtin and it should be better.
I’ve enjoyed this series. Usually by the end of a series, I’ve wanted it to be over weeks ago and I’ve mentally moved on. But this series I felt engaged all four weeks. I’ve also received A LOT of response from this series. More so than normal. I’ve heard a lot of sucker punched stories. In addition to the personal e-mails, notes, or Facebook messages, we saw videos of stories here at LSC (thank you to Doug Harsch as filming, editing, and rendering a video is no small task and he did four of them in four weeks). And finally, we encouraged people to write on half sheets of paper their sucker punch story, a prayer request, or a next step action out of being sucker punched. In total – it was a lot of stories.
And after reading all of the stories, I just feel humbled.
There are a lot of hurting people here (and that is just from the ones I know!). It might be a normal amount for a typical church, but it seems like a lot to me.
And in the end, I have this thought…I wish this church had a better pastor. I do. If I had to hire a pastor for the Living Stones Church, I’m not sure I would hire me. I’d look for someone who is a lot more spiritual. I’d look for someone who is a lot better at counseling. I’d look for someone who is more pastoral (in the genuine sense of the word). I would look for someone who had their act together more so than I do who doesn’t struggle with the thoughts I do, or behaviors I do. I would pick someone who knows the Bible more and prays with greater ease than I do. I’d hire someone who doesn’t walk around with a perpetual sense of insecurity about how to deal with so many sucker punch stories.
As I read this I worry that you might think I’m trying to communicate some sort of false-humility in the guise of the “I’m not a perfect Pastor” (as if you didn’t already know that) speech. I’m not. I sincerely do have these thoughts. But don’t worry about me. I have enough pride and arrogance that I’m not overwhelmed by them. And even in the midst of these thoughts, I know I’m called to be here at the Living Stones Church.
So, in the end, I recognize that I get to be here doing what I love to do, with a group of people I absolutely love, simply because of God’s grace. That has to be it. Because he couldn’t have looked down on the face of the earth and chosen me due to my spiritual qualifications and accomplishments.
Thank you God for your grace.
Thank you Living Stones Church for the honor of allowing me, a sojourner with you in this Kingdom venture, to be called your Pastor.