I love being a pastor. Today is one of those days when I realize just how precious this job really is. My work day started at 8 when I met a young woman for coffee - for conversation around what it means to risk it all for the sake of the Gospel. I then traveled to Virginia to attend the memorial service of a remarkable 89 year old woman who has regularly attended our Tuesday Bible study for the past year and a half. I met another young woman from Mount Vernon Place for lunch, and we talked about her job and where she might go when she finishes her two year stint with Teach for America.
I love this job - I love being in conversation with others about life, where God is, who God is, and how God is at work. I cannot imagine myself being anything else or doing anything else other than being a pastor. And, my love of being a pastor is exactly why my job is driving me a little nuts lately.
We moved back home three weeks ago at Mount Vernon Place. We are finally back home - in a glorious, completely renovated, 1917 building. It is fantastic space. And, it is space that creates another huge responsibility.
We are no longer renting space on Sunday mornings - easily paying someone else to provide security, turn the lights on and clean the bathrooms. Instead, we are responsible for the space. And, the space is stealing my time.
In the last three weeks, I have had conversations about how often the grass should be mowed, how often and how much the building should be cleaned, when the doors should be alarmed and when they should be unlocked, who will sit at the front door on Sundays, who will turn the handicap lift on, where the new pew pads go - especially the ones that arrived without a size tag, how to take care of the rodent problem that shows signs of rats the size of cats (not in the building - thank God - but outside), how to fill the space with people, how much it will cost to get married here, and the list goes on and on and on. And, all of these things are important - but these things are not my vocation - these things are not part of my calling. I have been spending more than half of my workweek on building related matters - instead of Biblical, spiritual, connectional or theological matters. And, my energy is depleted. My mind is boggled. My creativity is zapped. I want to simply be a pastor again!
Frederick Buechner defines vocation as that place where one's deep gladness meets the world's deep hunger. I know that as much as I could think about finances and building partners and rodent control, that this is not my call. As much as I could go out and create new partnerships and relationships with people in the community who might need a fantastic theatre space or want to plan a rock concert for 500 that this is not my call. My calling is to be a pastor - to be a person who wants more than nothing else to tell people about the all encompassing love of Christ and to invite them to experience this transforming love.
I am so grateful to have found my call - my vocation. I now hope we find someone whose vocation is to be an administrator - an administrator for this wonderful, one-of-a-kind, dynamic, growing, visionary place called Mount Vernon Place. Interested? Please apply!