“Are you ready to be a pastor?”
That’s the question Corey asked me when I walked into his office 4 years ago to sign my contract. I was officially accepting the role of Preschool Pastor and stepping into the world of vocational ministry. I was so excited to be leading a ministry I had been serving in for the past 6 years. I love working with kids and was looking forward to the opportunity to use my education experience in a church environment.
However, I wasn’t expecting that question from Corey and it threw me for a loop. I tried not to let it show on the outside, but those of you who know me know that my face doesn’t lie.
“Ummm… no. A pastor? I didn’t graduate from Bible college. I don’t hold a degree from seminary. I don’t know what to say to people at funeral homes. I’m not even really good at memorizing scripture.” Some of that was internal monolog, but other parts I said out loud to him. I kind of wanted to ask him if he had even paid attention during my interview.
I don’t remember how he responded to me; he probably just smiled and nodded. But I continued to remind him over the next several days, weeks, months… ok, years… that I was NOT a pastor. The word “pastor” was so scary to me. It seemed so official and grown-up and spiritual. I was not qualified to be a pastor. I’m still not qualified to be a pastor and to be honest, neither are you. If you really consider it, we are all just broken vessels, cracked clay pots (2 Corinthians 4:7), walking around and bumping into each other. And that is the inherent beauty of God’s plan, that our brokenness reveals His strength and great power.
So here I am, beginning my fifth year of wearing a name tag that tells everyone I’m a pastor. And I can identify with Paul when he writes, “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
I’ve decided to change the question from “Are you ready to be a pastor?” to “Are you ready?”. I’ve accepted the truth that I will never be qualified to do what God has called me to do. And in spite of my fears and shortcomings, I’m ready. I’m ready to be Christ’s ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20). I’m ready to share the source of my hope. I’m ready to make disciples who make disciples and bring my Sunday morning sunshine into someone’s Monday morning rain.
Are you ready?