Tomorrow is the celebration of our 10th Anniversary as CrossPointe Church, and I am nearing the end of this series of 10 Lessons from 10 Years at CrossPointe. It has been great to look back at all that God has done over that time and to really reflect on what He has taught me as a man and as a pastor.
When people ask me what I do for a living, I come up with different ways of answering them. Why? Well, because I think it’s funny, and I know that most people either don’t know what a pastor does or they have some really strange ideas about what a pastor does? Sometime’s I’ll say, “I make people feel guilty for sleeping in on Sundays.” Or, “I’m the CEO of a small non-profit.” But most often, I’ll give them Lesson #8.
Lesson #8: I am in the people business.
For many folks, that’s even more confusing than “I’m a pastor.” But, for me, it sums up best what God has called me to do. The Good News of Jesus Christ is that God loved people so much that He sent His one and only Son to lay down His life in their place to pay the price for their sin, which separates them from God. He died for people and three days later, He conquered death, people’s final enemy. People need only to place their faith in Jesus, making Him the boss of their life and believing that God raised Him from the dead. Those people inherit eternal life in Heaven with God. Making Jesus the boss of your life means there are some commands to follow. This typically means some changes need to be made as God is clearly about the business of making us more and more like Jesus. There is work to be done as Jesus commissioned His followers to make disciples of all nations. (Matt. 28:19-20) There is ministry to be done as the Scripture gives a laundry list of “one anothers” for the church. Enter the pastor, the undershepherd with the task of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.
The people business. I lead people to see their need for a Savior. I lead people to place their faith in Jesus for their salvation. I equip people to serve Him in the church and outside of it’s walls. I love people and encourage them in their struggles. I admonish and rebuke people when they go astray from God and His word. I celebrate with people when the blessing of God is poured out on abundantly on their lives. I cry with those who are in unspeakable pain. People are my business.
It’s the reason I stay connected to social media. That’s where my people are, and I like to see what they’re going through. It’s messy sometimes. I’m reminded of the words of one of my mentors who said, “When you are around people, you are going to get people mess on you.” Ain’t that the truth! People are messy, and if I wasn’t in the people business, it would really bother me. But I imagine, a shepherd of real sheep gets a fair amount of sheep mess on them too. It comes with the territory.
Which leads me to…
Lesson #9: Everyone is going through something.
I realize that every Sunday, as I look out on those in attendance, it is a safe assumption that every one of them is going through something in their life. Everyone! Some hide it very well and others wear it all over their face. So, it is unspeakably important that I come prepared with a word from the Lord, that the Holy Spirit can apply to their pain, worry, depression, stress, and fear. Some are facing mountains while others have their heads buried in the ground. There are a variety of circumstances out there, and problems have no respect for anybody. All are affected somehow. Often, the people mess is just a symptom of the problems that are being faced everyday. So, when people get messy, I try to see past their behavior to whatever that something is behind it. It calls for Holy Spirit-fueled compassion.
One last word on Lessons 8 & 9 to all the people in my direct sphere of influence. I am an introvert. Being around people is exhausting for me. But I love you, and I love that God has blessed me with an opportunity to minister to you, to laugh with you and cry with you. I love doing life with you! Yes, you are messy, and so am I. But, to paraphrase the Scripture, “Love covers a multitude of messes!”