It’s hard to believe that next year will mark 10 years of pastoral ministry for me. In that time I have served in several different ministry roles and have seen ministry from many different perspectives. Over the course of this time I have also come away with a still sharpening view of what it means to be a pastor. In the first installment, I listed the first five of 10 commitments I’m making to our church and you can check out that post here. Here are my other five commitments:
6. I Will Go With You.
In Exodus 33:15, Moses makes it clear that he wants to do nothing apart from the presence of God. I love this for a couple of reasons. First, Moses recognizes the importance of God’s presence. Imagine the confidence of knowing that your God was with you wherever you went. Second, I love that Moses includes himself among those who are in need of God’s presence. Notice Moses says, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.” This is the kind of pastor I aspire to be. I want to be a tour guide not a travel agent. Travel agents book the trip but tour guides take you on the trip.
7. I Will Keep You in the Loop.
During a recent road trip my girls were sitting on the third row. They knew we had a long journey and loved to keep up with our progress. Seeing as they were so far behind me, they couldn’t see the GPS. Their only option was to constantly ask me, “Dad, where are we?”. My dadly (is that a word) instinct was to tell them to just relax and ride. The problem with that was that when we actually arrived they were asleep. There were no cheers, no excitement, just groggy eyes and stretches. Not the climax I had envisioned but it was partially my fault. A few updates could have made the difference. From the third row you can’t see the GPS the way the driver does but you are invested in the trip too. It’s my job as the leader to make sure you know where we are and where we’re going.
8. I WIll Be Forward Thinking.
It is the duty of great leaders to simultaneously think about the present and the future. Leaders must prepare their organizations to succeed today and tomorrow. In the life of Moses we see this within his inclusion of Joshua in many exploits. We also see it as Moses encourages the Israelites to share their faith with their children. It seems cliche but the children really are our future. To that end I am committed to making the next generation a priority.
9. I Will Fight for You.
Moses is most known as a deliverer, the one who led the Israelites out of Egypt. There is little doubt about this role he carried but he was so much more. Moses led the people with strategies for battle. He led them by solving problems as he stood and answered their questions all day. He pleaded with God to spare them time after time. Moses loved the Israelites so he fought for them on several fronts. I know spiritual warfare is a part of leading a forward moving church and I am committed to the fight. Whether it’s through prayer, counseling sessions, laboring to prepare messages or leading through challenges, I’m all in.
10. I WIll Believe in our Church.
In spite of several missteps Moses believed the Israelites would reach the promised land. Moses believed in them when they didn’t believe in themselves. He knew they could do the impossible and he knew that there was more in them than they realized. That to me is a mark of great leadership. When great leadership believes in you, they stretch you. They challenge you. They push you to be the best version of yourself. I believe in what God is doing in our church and I commit to walking with our membership through the challenges of reaching God’s best for them.
I’m a firm believer that today’s commitments become tomorrow’s character. This is just a glimpse into the kind of pastoral character I want to model. What are some of the commitments you’re making?