I’ve written about this before, but one of the things I like to do when I’m on “staycation” is to attend worship at Central. It’s fun going to worship with the same folks to serve God alongside week after week when they acknowledge you’re not there in any “official capacity.” This Sunday was extra fun because in our new structure I’m kind of responsible to get someone who help lead worship, and I completely forgot to do so. I was there so I got up an led some portions of the service, and some folks actually said, “What are you doing? You’re on vacation!” When I replied that I wasn’t really there the same folks said, “How’s that different from any other week?” This type of thing happens at Central all the time. I love it.
One of the things I’m most interested in during my visits is exploring the types of things which I do because I’m “the pastor” versus the things I do simply because I’m wired a certain way and Central happens to be my church community.
Today I noticed there are a several things I do at Central “just because”.
First is worship set up. I do that not because I’m the pastor, but “just because.” If I was a member of a church, but not the pastor, it would still be part of my routine. Today, for example, I set up the projectors and lyrics machine. Why? Just because I was there, and that’s what I do.
I find I also check in with people “just because.” I’m genuinely interested in the well-being of the folks with whom I come into contact, and I like to check in. Now, I have ADD and am introverted, so this is an odd impulse for me. I often forget the result of my check-in, and frequently feel the need to hide in corners after I do so. Yet, it’s never crossed my mind to do that as “the pastor.” I just want to know how people are doing, and make sure they feel both heard and valued. Should I ever not be a pastor, I’d still do this – and continue to hide in corners afterward.
Singing is not part of my pastoral identity, that’s definitely a “just me.” I jump right in with the worship band whenever I’m in worship while on staycation. Not singing would would feel wrong.
I’m glad for these three ministry tasks which I do “just because.” They remind me that I give to the ministry of Central in ways which are not related to my vocational calling, and encourage me by helping me remember that I am not a “professional Christian.” I’m a member of a congregation, with gifts to share and friendship to receive. I wouldn’t have it any other way.