I had a talk with Andy on Monday. We usually do Sunday debrief and catch up on Mondays. We do the "Monday morning quarterback" for church pastors. The usual, "how do you think this went?" or "how was the (fill in the blank)?" We discussed the weaknesses and strengths of my message from Sunday. We chatted about his trip to Jacksonville for the district conference and how he was able to catch up with some old California friends. He was excited to be serving on the district board. He shared about his time with Jarred, one of our students who has gone to serve as an intern with 2nd Mile Ministries. We went to lunch with James Blackwood as is the custom for JAB (James, Andy & Brian) Monday Lunch. And then we came back from lunch and I had to "man up".
Why "man up"?
I have been holding some of my thoughts and heart back from him. He's my friend, my pastor and kinda like my boss (although we don't really have that awkward Michael Scott - Jim Halpert type of relationship). I have had problems talking about things with others I have been in similar relationships with. It's on me because Andy has never really given me the impression that I could not talk to him about such things. He's actually always been approachable and easy to talk with. So, I had to "man up" because I was living in fear of the conversation. Mainly because as a people pleaser, I did not want him to dislike me. A step for me in killing performance was to talk with Andy about these things.
Now that I have jumped the hurdle of talking about it with him, I do feel more free to write about it here. My heart has been heavy for awhile. As I am learning what it means to walk in mission and live out the call of Jesus in my life, I have been wrestling with what that is for me. I talked to him about my future, my passions, my thoughts and my calling. We discussed what I had been wanting to discuss for months, namely "Where am I headed?" We spent a good bit on how I can utilize my time here at Hope for the Gospel and for my growth as a follower of Jesus, a husband, a pastor and so on. How can he and others help me process my gifts. I feel relieved, not because I know what is in store for me in the future but I know that my ally, Andy, is going to help me with egos stripped away so that we can make much of the Gospel here, there and everywhere (a little Seuss never hurts).
This is so huge for me. I was living with a giant cloud of fear over my head. I wasn't trusting Jesus. I was sinning. I was sinning! I was afraid that if I was honest with Andy about my process, he would just write me off. "Go" or "I am the pastor, not you, and I will make decisions for this and that" was what I heard in my head as the scene played out. I was so scared that I was going to come across as this arrogant jack ass that thinks he knows the things of God. Truth is, I don't. I have been given but a glimpse through God's Word about what He wants from me. This is what I also took from the Honesty conference. I am still trusting God to do a work in me. To be honest and give people the benefit of the doubt has been a tough lesson to learn (still learning). I had been projecting my insecurities and past experiences onto Andy. He shot me straight, though. Told me that, in his opinion, I have a fear of the "settling down" - that in my life there seems that I need to have drama. Moving, new job, new whatever - and I agree that is a problem that I have. I am willing to work that out. I will try to figure out if that is driving these other things. Is that "need" driving my heart for church planting? I don't know but I am going to think about it.
Until next time:
26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36As it is written,
"For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.