This week I went hiking with our Youth and Young Adult Pastor candidate, Alex. I found myself thinking, before we left for the hike, “Do I really have time for this?” It is a busy season of life: I am a full-time pastor, father of 5, working on my dissertation, and leading the Youth Ministry at church. Added on top of all of this is a pastoral search. Part of me is driven to the results: “Let’s just get this stuff done! We don’t need to hang out, just do the job.” Then I remember the way that it works.
In life, and especially in ministry, results happen through relationships. I don’t mean hanging out and getting no work done. I enjoy hanging out, but in my life I want to get things done! Things get done better, stronger, healthier in relationships. This may mean working in teams. It may mean working alone and working hard, but then taking breaks to be with people and get recharged. It may mean encouraging and empowering leaders who are leading something that I don’t have to lead. I can’t forget to meet with these leaders and continually pour into them.
We have to be poured into as well – from mentors and especially from God. Life is our character as well; this is a third category: character (health, righteousness), relationship, and results. To put it another way: be good, love people, accomplish something = a great life. OK, the formula works and makes sense. But be warned – the “be good” category does not equal “religion”, though many think it does. God is not only in one category – He is in all three.
Think of a wheel. The hub is our character, everything we are doing centers on this. The spokes are relationships – they shape our lives and connect our character to the “road”. The outside of the wheel is results – this is how the wagon gets moving and fulfills its purpose. In the middle of the wheel is the axle. On a wagon wheel this is the centering force. On a bike or car this is where the power comes from: power flows from the axle to the hub (character), out through the spokes (relationships) to the outer wheel (results). When God is in the center of our lives our character, relationships, and results all have power, make a difference, and point to Him.
Jesus got a lot done: in just over 3 years He saved all humanity, invested in leaders who gave their lives, and created a movement that is still going thousands of years later. And yet He never was rushed for time; He always lived with intention; He always made time to pray.
I am definitely not there yet! But I did take time to hike, and it was great. Alex is a great guy and it is great getting to know him more. It was great to be out and soak up the scenery. I don’t just want our church to hire a pastor to “do a job”, I want us to do life together and walk closer to Jesus together and change our world together. I want my character to be changed as I serve and walk with Christ. I have to keep reminding myself that this is the way to get to real results. If you are busy like me right now, be reminded of these truths, and be encouraged!