Last week a colleague of mine posted a couple of articles talking about being a pastor. The first one was from a pastor who was leaving the ministry because of multiple reasons, the main one being burnout. The second article I read was from another pastor who was leaving his congregation to pursue a career at a seminary teaching other pastors about what they need to do their job in the quickly changing church. I could relate to both articles. Honestly, there are days where I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. But there are also days when it’s a struggle to keep going.

Most people think the job of a pastor is an easy one…they only work on Sundays, right?!?! Although it’s true preparing a sermon, preaching, and leading worship is a large part of my job, there are so many more things I do that I never imagined. I can’t count the times I’ve responded to a particular situation with, "Well, they didn’t teach me that in seminary!" The truth of the matter is that being a pastor has changed because the church has and continues to change rapidly. What I learned during my internship year fifteen years ago just doesn’t cut it anymore. Each and every day I find myself facing unchartered territory in the church.

Especially since the pandemic things have changed drastically, attendance is down, finances are shaky, people aren’t into being part of a group, the importance of attending church has given way to a myriad of other activities on Sundays, and consumerism has invaded the church to name a few. Another point that was brought up is that people who aren’t pastors don’t know how to be a pastor. They may know what they like in a pastor which is most likely based on a model they grew up with but what worked then, doesn’t necessarily work now.

In October, the Northern Illinois Synod is providing an opportunity I am going to take advantage of in Rockford. It’s called, "What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: Reclaiming the Sense of Your Call in a Rapidly Changing Church." In other words, what I thought I knew and was trained for to be a pastor, isn’t what I need to go forward. I’m not expecting to find a magic bullet at this event, but hopefully some new ideas. Just an FYI… I don’t have any plans to leave the ministry or Peace any time soon! But I do covet your encouragement and prayers as I continue my partnership with you. I’ll let you know what I learn in October. In the meantime…

See you Sunday!