Thursday, May 21, 2009

Discovery, Responsibility, and Balance

When I gave my life to Christ at age 23, my relationship with Him was very real. I felt alive! Reading the Bible with new spiritual eyes was like coming out of a coma. Each day more fog lifted. As I read through the New Testament I could hardly wait to see what was coming next, and each page was a new discovery. It was such an adventure!

Twenty eight years later I know more about the Bible than I have ever known. Having devoted half a lifetime to its study I can discuss almost any topic or theological issue in an informed manner. And God has given me the privilege of being the lead pastor of the greatest church I’ve ever been a part of. What a journey it has been.

But sometimes I miss the simplicity of being a “babe” in Christ. It was a simple life; very little responsibility and a lot of discovery. Don’t get me wrong. Christ is still very personal to me. His Word is still contains undiscovered treasures, because no one can fully plumb its fathomless depths, even over a lifetime. For the most part, as I have grown, my relationship with Christ has deepened to become deeper, richer, and fuller than ever before. But now, along with my personal walk with Christ comes leadership responsibility. And I embrace it.

But it also complicates things...

I am responsible (in some measure) for hundreds of people who call PCC their church family, and by extension, their families too. We have people on payroll whose families could be affected by the success or failure or our church. That is a heavy weight to bear. There are State and Federal laws we have to comply with. There are ministries to lead, staff to supervise, volunteers to recruit, polices to write, budgets to fund and manage, people to take care of, and buildings to maintain. Add infitim. And every week I’ve got Sunday staring me in the face like the barrel of a gun, and when I show up to church I’ve got to have something to say! Bible study isn’t so relaxing anymore.

It’s important that spiritual leaders continually strive for balance. As we grow in Christ our responsibilities increase, yes, but it’s also important that we never lose the wonder of it all. We have to carve out time to be alone with Christ and with our Bible; to renew our first love; to hear Him speak; to come out of our self-induced coma. No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, (year one, or year twenty five), take time for rest and spiritual refreshment.

Christ is still the hidden treasure buried in a field, just waiting to be discovered all over again.

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