I’m what could be described as a fully funded pastor.
Actually, I’ve been fully funded in the ministry since late 2011.
Last August (2018), I accepted the call to my current pastorate after seven years of working as a denominational executive. Prior to that, all of my ministry years were served in a bi-vocational manner. That simply means that ministry did not fully fund my livelihood.
While serving as a bi-vocational pastor, I distinctly recall making myself a few promises. These were all contingent on if and when God allowed me to serve fully-funded. One of those promises had to do with delegation and allowing others to help do most of the physical work.
You see, in my pastorate there is a strong volunteer base and people are willing to serve. Therefore, what I’m about to describe did not have to happen. But, I’m kind of glad it did.
A few weeks ago, I decided to continue with the much needed pressure washing of our campus. I’ve been enjoying this hands on work and the satisfaction it brings. But we were at the place where a man-lift had to be rented. So along with a trusted senior citizen volunteer, we were hard at it.
It’s a Tuesday morning and I’m about 35 feet up in the air. I’m cleaning years worth of crud off one our buildings. About an hour in to the project it was time to maneuver the lift to a new position. However, the machine lost its maneuverability.
That’s right. It was a complete mechanical failure. I was stranded in the air with no means of descending. After the third troubleshooting call with the rental company, they consented to send someone out.
I was relieved to see the mechanic on site, lifting the hoods and taking a general look at the machinery. After about half an hour he looked up and explained that the machine was in disrepair and he’d have to come back later. He even kindly offered to allow us to come back and rent another machine.
However, the customer service failure came in because he never addressed my high and lifted up status. Not a note of apology or any suggestion on how to descend was mentioned. He could have at least brought a long rope, an extension ladder, or threw me an umbrella to shield the sun.
Thankfully, one of our neighbors had a very large extension ladder. It was retrieved and carefully staged for my humbling descent. However, leaving the safety of the bucket and stepping down the side of a steep metal roof was a trip filled with trepidation.
However, while stuck in the bucket. I was able to pray through a totally different issue that had me steaming mad. Had I been able to come down as soon as I wanted, I would not have handled that issue with the love of Christ.
As a result, my Gulf Coast tan has sure darkened. And once again I have relearned the need to practice delegation and not save all the fun outside work for myself.
Now you know what happened when the pastor got high and lifted up!
I’d be negligent if I didn’t tell you that I’m so thankful for Romans 8:28. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”