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From Your Pastor’s Heart: Congregational Life

Categories: Pastors Blog

I was recently asked what brings me joy about “congregational life”. Congregational life is the rhythmic movements of the body of Christ as we journey through our days and nights living and loving, growing and struggling through life. What brings a pastor joy? I used to think it was in the growth of the church numerically, the growth of our physical campus, the new opportunities that a growing ministry provides, etc. But, those were fleeting moments that, honestly at times, were more frustrating than they were fulfilling. By definition, joy is a lasting sense of satisfaction and peace that is not produced through events but through relationships. Here is where I discovered the “joy” of congregational life, RELATIONSHIPS. I love our church family and love seeing you love each other. The sounds of fellowship at the beginning of a worship service, and the laughter down the hallways, bring me joy. The quiet moments, the hushed whispers, the tear falling quietly down a cheek in a moment of honesty and vulnerability that leads to heads bowing and God’s children praying is joyous to me. Seeing a father lead his family to love God and love others. Watching a mom exchange the pursuit of happiness for the pursuit of holiness. Witnessing students from junior high to college find out that God is better. Hearing a child trust in Jesus. All these things and so many more are what brings joy to a pastor’s heart.

I am so proud to have this clear direction from God for His Church at Crossroads. We will no longer measure our growth solely by numeric standards. We know that Christ-centered relationships is how we are to measure ministry moving forward. In the days ahead we will be implementing a plan that will include everyone from teachers to toddlers to encourage this kind of growth. Imagine a church family who measures growth by how many people are following Christ and by how many of those people are leading others to follow Christ. Pray for your staff that we will courageously follow God’s plan for His church at Crossroads.

By the way, I was also asked what I would change about “congregational life”. Here’s what I said:

Nothing. Well, I guess I’d rather people not hide behind the false pretense that everything’s OK. I’d rather folks not wear masks of self-righteousness and piety. I wish people would not listen to the slanderous accusations of the enemy and believe that they have disqualified themselves from God’s love and purpose because of some prior failure. And then I realized that’s what Church is for, to lead people out of those dark places into the glorious light of the gospel. So yeah, I’d change nothing.