I woke up this morning and realized in between snooze-button hits, that I could just as easily written this post for Thursday, when we pray for church staff and administrators. While it's possible it may be well-suited and quite applicable, I think it denies the truth that even pastors make mistakes in their job responsibilities which need to be dealt with, just as the rest of us encounter.
Regardless of which side of the desk you sit on, disciplinary action is never a pleasant experience. It doesn't matter if it is a stern warning or correction or a formal ding for the record books. It is quite a simply, a disconcerting event; emotionally frustrating and mentally taxing... in a word, stressful.
We know the ones you hear about usually don't end well... and that's fine. Most people don't hear about the bumps and bruises of the everyday "bad days" at work, when this and that problem arise and someone bears the burden. But are these conversations just as difficult and challenging as the everyday office desk or job-site? Probably.
Perhaps even more-so, as both parties have an understanding of grace and compassion; patience and discernment... looking at the matter through the eyes of faith and perspective of stewardship. It's not that the secular boss doesn't possess these traits, but if they aren't a Christian, the conversation could and probably does look and sound very different from what we might assume goes on between a senior and associate pastor, or the like.
Needless to say, having been on the receiving end of this conversation in the secular marketplace before, I have a slight understanding of how much more discernment it must take to have to deal with similar matters when it comes to ministry. To that end, we should pray (as I hit the snooze button one too many times).
So, let's pray this #associatePastorTuesday, that indeed, God would grant wisdom and discernment, for the times of difficulty when job and ministry responsibilities need to be discussed and corrected. Pray for a spirit of understanding, of grace and compassion. May there not be a fear to have the hard conversation and the difficult decision; but to confront problems in light of the truth and with a spirit of love. May God help each of us, as we work as unto the Lord and not just ministry-related things that are God's work. Pray a greater understanding of the stewardship of our talents and gifting as we approach our work and their responsibilities; that even in this, we would reflect and point others to Christ.
That whatsoever your hands find to do,
Do so as unto the Lord.
For we are His workmanship.
Clay in the Potter's hands.
For the glory of God.
And the cause of Jesus Christ.
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.