My dad was a pastor, which was the main reason why if anyone asked me as a senior in High School what I was going to do for a career I would say, “I have no idea, but I know I’m not going to be a pastor.”
I never really liked church. Church was a pain in the neck, a thing that took me away from ever watching a Super Bowl until I was 19. Church usually meant 1) work and 2) sitting around forever waiting for my parents to quit talking.
As far as church services went, I wasn’t really paying attention. I know I’m not supposed to say that, but yeah, my mind was elsewhere.
I went off to college in pursuit of a broadcasting degree and didn’t go to church for about two years. But during that time I began to read the Bible for the first time without being told to. I really wanted to know what it said.
I still have the Bible I used then. The cover is off and the pages are pretty rough, but I can see all my highlighting and think back to the absolute revolution that occurred in me during all that.
As I began to grow in my knowledge of the Bible and hang out with a bunch of moronic students at a Christian college, something switched in me. “People have no idea what this Book says.” I was stunned that I lead the list of those who didn’t know what the book said.
For many years I assumed I knew it all and I was very judgmental, not in a loving way either. I honestly felt all the students around me were morons. I had few friends.
I began to realize as I read and re-read the Bible that I had no clue. I wanted a clue and I still wanted to help the morons. So I decided I’d change my degree and plan on seminary.
I went to seminary and wow, the morons followed me there too. The urge grew in me more and more to learn and to teach the Bible. I took a job at a “mega-church” in St. Paul and I saw things. I heard the worship leader swearing mere minutes before the church service as he couldn’t get his powerpoint to work right.
That left a mark on my soul. I am skeptical of every worship leader ever.
As soon as I could become a pastor, I did. I still had no real clue what the Bible was saying. I went into the arena and got chewed up pretty good. I actually quit about a year and a half into my pastoral career because I realized I had no clue. I felt I was playing a game.
I stepped back, re-examined and got recharged to figure it out and see what happened. So, my church graciously took me back, probably more out of pity and the fact they couldn’t find anyone else in that time.
I began to read the Bible like crazy. I wanted to learn and I wanted to teach truth. I have been sobered in my estimations of my own knowledge and my judgments of morons. I still have the top ranking on my “Morons I Know” list.
But that’s why I am a pastor–to learn and teach the Bible. I know my church isn’t for everyone and I’m cool with that. I have learned the fallibility of my own words and always strive to make God’s Word the central communication.
About 12 years ago I began preaching in Genesis and have preached all the way through to 1 Corinthians 13 as of this writing. I’ve learned so much it’s ridiculous. My hope is that I can teach others and learn together.
Not everyone agrees that I’ve gotten smarter or that I’m right, and again, that’s fine. I’ve yet to meet anyone who knows it all, including myself.
Come let us reason together. Preach the word, in season and out. That’s my passion. It’s what I do in my church. Churches that don’t teach the Bible seem irrelevant to me, so I put myself in a position to call the shots in a church and do what I think a church should do.
I live by my decisions and they all have not worked well. I have made many mistakes. Apologized to many people. I do not know what to do for people all the time, and when I do know what to do, I struggle if it’s the right thing to actually do.
When I stand before God, I do not want to rationalize why I played video clips or sang Britney Spears songs instead of preaching the Word. I go with what I got, I know not what else to do.