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Matt Dabbs

A lot of this boils down to whose standards do we place in our hearts? God's or the standards of the world? We are told to set our minds on things above, not on earthly/worldly things. Too many buy into the corporate model of church where the congregation is run like a business. A few weeks ago I had the elders ask me what else I wanted to do in my ministry, specifically if I would like to preach more. We already have a full time preacher and, not wanting to step on his toes, I told them I was fine with what they already asked me to do. Do I want to preach more? Sure. But it isn't what my elders have asked of me. If they ask me to do more of that I will gladly do it, if it fits with the other minister but I am not going to request it as if I am trying to move up the corporate ladder or something. It all takes patience and as you have pointed out, letting God direct you where he wants you to do and to do what he wants you to do. If you are doing that, nothing else really matters.

Wade Tannehill

Matt,

I appreciate your very insightful comments. You were correct to answer the way you did as opposed to risk being misconstrued as if you're viewing your current position as a stepping stone on the way to something else. If you want to preach full time someday there is nothing wrong with that, but you are wise and considerate to avoid creating any hard feelings among the ministry team.

What you said about God's standards vs. those of the world is right on target.

I've found that it's very easy to mistake my desires for God's desires and to pray as if all I'm after is his endorsement on what I've decided to do. At times I've ignored all the red flags and road blocks to my own detriment. Learning to listen to God may not make all your dreams come true, but it sure avoids a lot of nightmares.

Bobby Valentine

Wade I love blogs like this. I recently did my own reflections and peeked inside my journal after 20 years or so in ministry. I have had my own struggles too ... with the same things you have. Sometimes you do look into the sky and ask "is it worth it?" There are days when, if we are honest with ourselves, we say "no." But then there are those times when the presence of God is so unmistakably present that there is no question about what we are doing. I recall many of the days you have given us a widow into. I have been blessed. Shalom. Bobby V

Wade Tannehill

Bobby,

Thank you for commenting. I read your reflections from your journal of 20 years over at your blog when you wrote them. I printed it out and underlined several things. I just looked at it again and cannot believe it's been nearly a month since you posted that.

I espcially like what you said about writing your own job description. I have done that at two churches, including the current one. Of course elder input is encouraged, but each individual brings different gifts to the body and over the years we come to realize that we cannot be everything, but that we must be who we are at a congregation that will accept that.

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