This is the first year I lived the dream of being a Pastor. When I had finally began to work what I believe God had called me to do for the rest of my life. And to discover how much of a challenge it would be and how unprepared I was to face the long road ahead.
This is the first year people started calling me “Pastor”. I still haven’t got used to it. The title commands a certain level of respect and authority I don’t feel that I’ve earned. Even Christians who are twice my age, who I know very little of are not hesitant to label me with that title. Recently I went to visit my cousin in the hospital who gave birth, an older gentleman perked up in Chinese, “great news, the Pastor is here”. I’m flattered and honored to take on the title, and it shows to me that people of faith don’t look at the outward appearance, but at the deeds and the heart.
I have a great deal to learn about “being” a Pastor. Being socially active in people’s lives is one of my greatest challenges. I’m under a constraint in that I have my own full-time job to earn income on top of pastoring, so when I get home I’m pretty exhausted. I wish it wasn’t that way. I wish I didn’t have to hide behind that excuse. I wish I could make my full pay doing what I love best. So I need a lot of forgiveness and patience in this area. I would love to go out for lunch or help out with domestic chores, to pray with families more and to involve myself with the youth. At the end of summer, I remember being unexpectedly asked to take some kids to school and get their report cards. I met their friends, a few teachers, and learned about their personal interests. Seemingly mundane, but that’s part of what it means to be a Pastor. And I enjoyed every moment of it.
I just want to briefly touch on preaching. One of my greatest joys has been preaching God’s word and discovering how he has gifted me to do it. One lady said that “it’s like finding your own Bruce Lee”. It’s been around 40 sermons preached in my lifetime and I’m still getting there. Much better than the nervous wreck that went up 4 years ago, but much more to go. I’ve learned that good sermons need to be high on applicability, and low on jargon. That, coupled with a dependence on the Holy Spirit’s infilling and the Lord can do the amazing things. Thank you for your prayers, they’ve helped me in sermon preparations more than you can see.
May you reflect on what God has done for you in 2015 and have a blessed 2016!