There is a weird competition in the workplace of a church where the clamoring of helmets is for that coveted Senior Pastor position. If they could only catch a bird’s eye view of that world they might take a pass but like me, before I married a pastor, I didn’t know all it entailed either.
It is no surprise that Thanksgiving weekend the attendance tends to be lower. Typically the Senior Pastor passes the ball to a Youth Pastor or an Assistant Pastor and they preach. Sometimes the Pastor goes away for a long weekend or he takes a break from speaking. The memes and jokes on social media begin. Fortunately when the comment passed my way I smiled as competition isn’t within the team. I could see how people could get hurt or offended by the comments though.
My husband had a bucket list item come up Thanksgiving week. I stayed behind and hosted my family and friends and preached the weekend. I shook hands and prayed with the visitors and invited them back to hear our Senior Pastor.
The last couple of weeks we’ve watched Brock Purdy lead the San Francisco 49ers in two wins to clinch the NFC Championship. In his role as third string quarterback he got a chance at the ball to help his team make a win and advance to the playoffs. So we, as associates, get a chance at the sermon to make a win and advance the Kingdom of Heaven.
Let them say what they want to say. You aren’t in competition for anything. You are making advances for the Kingdom. The Kingdom of Heaven needs you in your place at your appointed time. You are part of the team. Essential to the mission. You may be sidelined with an injury, you’re still essential. You may be on a mission, you’re still essential.
It is a great honor to be the one the Pastor calls on to preach when he is out of town. It is saying he trusts you, believes in you, and knows you can get the job done. You can! Keep pressing forward. Maybe you never get the pulpit. You are still important in your role. You are still making a difference. Despite the naysayers you are upholding the Kingdom and that is no small feat.
“Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.””
John 21:20-22 NIV
What is all of this to you? Follow Jesus Anyway.