Sucker Punched Concluded

Posted: October 4, 2011 in Leadership, Living Stones Church, Personal Reflections

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.

Comments
  1. Julia Circle says:

    I would have no one else, Sam!

  2. Sister says:

    You’re FIRED!! And man up and quit crying….you are embarrassing me! You did a great job and it was a fantastic series.

  3. The Bishop says:

    The fact that you have those doubts and insecurities about your ability to fill a needed role means that you are exactly the right one for that role. You are forced to rely on God, and that is what He wants. You’re rehired.

  4. Traci says:

    Your description of a better pastor sounds like a lot of church descriptions seeking a new pastor. Those job requirements/descriptions/whatever always make me think even Jesus wouldn’t be good enough for them. God works through all pastors, even the less than holy ones.

  5. the other ed says:

    Have you ever worked at a place where your boss was unqualified. And, i don’t mean the typical “my boss is an idiot” mentality that tends to show up at every workplace.
    No, your boss is UNQUALIFIED!
    I had a summer job in Plymouth once. On my first day, I was taught by another employee how to repair doors. About an hour later, the boss, (I knew he was the boss because of his fancy uniform shirt and absence of dirt) came up and asked me how to repair a door. I thought this was some sort of test to see how much I knew about repairing doors, except, he was dead serious.
    He was a college graduate and hired by the company two weeks before I was hired. How did this company expect me to learn from guys who did not know how to do the job?
    I expect the same is with you, my friend. How could we ever trust you as our spiritual mentor and leader if you didn’t share our struggles?
    How could you possibly expect to teach us anything if you hadn’t first been there yourself. That’s akin to a person drawing a map of a place he had never been.
    We love your faults. We love your struggles. But, moreover, we love you big guy.

    Ok, I suspended myself for a day from my man card priviledges for that last one…

  6. Jennifer C says:

    Thank you so much for posting this series (and all of the others) on the LSC podcast. I listened to them the other day after work and it I needed to hear them. When I was listening I thought “this is what has been missing in my life. This kind of message.” Words cannot express how much you, your family, and the LSC have helped me and continue to support me even living 200 miles away. There a many days that I think “do we move back just for the LSC?” Some days I think “yes” and others I think “I don’t know”.

    I don’t believe that there are many Pastors out there who could relay such a series in a way that “the common” person could connect. Thats what makes LSC so appealing. Its for the common person. Common people have problems. Common people don’t know how to cope with problems. That is why we need Jesus. That is why Jesus put a common person (Sam Barrington) to deliver these kind of messages. Thank you for doing what you do. Thank you to the LSC for being wonderful. If I could figure out a way to move Riley Hospital for Children up there we would be back in a second.

    You are appreciated. Thank you.

    Jennifer

    p.s. One of the houses that I am looking at buying is in a subdivision called “The Barringtons” and the house is off Barrington Rd. I think Jesus wants me to live there.

  7. Sherri says:

    Ditto to all of the above, Sam.
    And, Jennifer, I think you’re right…I think Jesus probably wants you to live there too!

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