The Road to Intentionality

Earlier this year I was explaining what my job is like to guy who has never attended church.  When I worked in the computer industry, that was pretty easy to explain: I develop computer software to help companies work more efficiently and effectively.  As a pastor, trying to explain my role to someone with no concept of church apart from what he sees in movies or reads about in the news, was much harder.  I tried to keep it to a one sentence answer.  I tried "I help people become more like Jesus" but, of course, that makes no sense to someone who doesn't even believe that Jesus ever existed...  then I tried "I lead my church" but again, he has no clue what goes on in a church so that meant nothing to him.  I was then required to break it down into many different short sentences.

  • I prepare a 45 minute sermon in order to help people understand the Bible better, make it relevant to their lives and help them apply it in their daily living.
  • I lead the church by casting vision and direction.
  • I oversee different areas of ministry by meeting regularly with ministry leaders to guide and support them whether that is paid staff or volunteers.
  • I help people with issues that they are struggling with in their lives.
  • I perform weddings, funerals, baptisms and other religious ceremonies.
  • I mentor younger leaders so they can begin finding how best they can serve the world.
  • I plan and coordinate different activities to foster community in the church.
  • I participate in events in our locale community.
  • I participate in our denominational meetings and meet with other pastors and church leaders in the city.
I explained to him how much I LOVE every single part of this very strange job of being a pastor.

And then he asked me something I didn't expect.  He simply said "How do you know if you're doing a good job?"

At first I was a little stumped... then I laughed... and said "If people are becoming more like Jesus!" (which of course got us back on the topic of whether Jesus ever really existed or not).  He challenged me further by asking if I felt that every part of my job accomplished what the results of a "good job".  Great point!  Because as I reflected on that more and more... the reality of the statement was, no, these are not all equally contributing to the goal of seeing people become more like Jesus...

Six months ago I wrote about the importance of doing ministry intentionally instead of reactionary.... and then I haven't written anything in my blog since... because I've spent the last 6 months working in REACTION mode.  Funny how that goes!  The very thing I was encouraging others not to do, I had quickly become!

Over the past month I have begun some very exciting steps in my role to help me get back on the road to intentionality.  The first is gaining control over my calendar.  Somehow, without realizing it, I had lost control of my schedule and the parts of my role of the most importance where being squeezed out by items which should have been either delegated to someone else or  rescheduled to another time.  With the help of a trusted mentor I've been building my weekly calendar in such a way to put my work in the proper priority.  And it feels great!

Over the next few months I'll be doing even more on this road to intentionality.  Some of it is in my work life, some in my personal life, and some in our church ministry.  My goal is to journey the road here on my blog... and hopefully this will be an encouragement to others (and keep me on the right road!)

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