It has been challenging to see folks who were just sporadic in their attendance to worship. I was frustrated with these people who shirked from what I saw and still see as a clear duty. But since my time away, now I pray for them. I pray for them differently, not prayers that the Lord will shake them to see their duty, but rather that the Lord will open their eyes to the blessing that the church is to every Christian.
Yesterday was my first day back after a seven-week medical leave. Having time off was a great benefit to both my physical and mental health. Being away from the pulpit and active ministry for an extended time gave me time to step back and think about ministry. However, there were some parts of working that I did miss. One of the most significant things I missed was my church family. This was especially true because of how they had rallied around me during this time of medical needs. I missed being with my church family.
Being a pastor is a strange combination of employment and faith. It is a job with all the duties and problems that come with a job. However, our faith is connected to this job. Where is that boundary line? The doctor leaves the hospital and the lawyer his office. The policeman and nurse go off shift. One of the struggles is that I needed a break from the ministry job, but I also needed my church family.