Several months ago I was reading Ephesians four and the first verse literally JUMPED off the page at me. The verse tells us to “live a life worthy of the calling I have received.”
As a pastor, there are many things that living a life worthy of the calling that I received could include. Things that immediately come to mind are seeking God daily, loving my wife, loving my kids, staying pure, leading, and loving people. Those are sort of obvious things that come with my calling.
Lately, I’ve been thinking of the less obvious things that the calling to pastor brings. Something HUGE that God has taught me since starting Revolution Church is that everything the pastor does matters. And I mean everything.
Here are a few things that I am giving extra energy and attention to in order to live a life worthy of the calling God has given me:
Health: I don’t ever want to become the pastor that is 80 pounds overweight and preaches on everything BUT gluttony. I think health matters and when pastors ignore their health, they lose credibility in many ways. I am not perfect, but I do my best to run and hit the gym at least 4 days a week. Plus, when I stay healthy, I feel better and have more energy to share the Gospel. I’m in this for the long haul, so health is paramount.
Thanksgiving: As our church grows, I find myself becoming more thankful. I stop and say thanks more, I hand write a ton of thank you cards and I but a LOT of thank you coffee and ice cream. That sounds bad at first glance, but think about it. With so many people its difficult to have a personal relationship with many (I don’t believe that is my job anyway, but that is another post for another time.)
These days, I am trying to make it a point to never walk past a volunteer or a staff member without saying thanks and honoring them. It only takes seconds out of my day and literally makes their day.
I think we would all do better in our calling(s) if we would realize how big of a difference a simple, real, honest, heartfelt thank you can mean.
Style: I think pastors should get with the times and get some swag. I’m not talking about buying a thousand dollar suit and wearing a rolex. I’m talking about being relevant to the people you are trying to reach. Here are some tips: you can use an IRON. Shave. Get a haircut regularly. We have a mirror at the stage entrance, not because I like seeing myself (that’s the band!) but because I think my appearance is important. After all, people have to look at me for 30-40 minutes every week as I preach. Every week, pastors bring the most meaningful message ever! Maybe we should look like empowered messengers!
Space: I’m talking about my car, my office and my home. It needs to be kept clean and orderly. I think its kind of hard to set a good example in life with a car full of starbucks cups and an office that smells like fast food.
Money: I’m talking personal finances and church finances.
Personal finances: If I am going to teach Biblical principles like tithing, investing, saving, spending, bringing an offering and more, I need to be doing those things well! My family got all of this in order through Financial Peace University many years ago. We are debt free and therefore free to give. We have a goal to increase our percentage giving by one percent every year. Right now, we are working hard on making our money work hard for us by investing in new ways.
Church finances: I refuse to waste a single dollar or a minute of time on a program, piece of equipment or ministry position that isn’t the best option to reach the most people. We do more with less at Revolution Church and I have to champion that. I think this is a huge and vital part of walking in my calling.
Speaking: Over the last year, I’ve been very convicted that I need to improve on my speaking. I think sometimes, pastors get into a rut and just do their thing week to week when truthfully, there is a ton of room for improvement. That’s why I was so pumped when some of my friends launched Preaching Rocket. Great, powerful preaching is more than words. You have to learn how to move on stage, how to use volume, tone and inflection and more to really present well. Comedic timing, when to pause, where to look…preaching is so much more than just talking. I want to be one of the best communicators on the planet, every single week.
What less obvious things do you need to work on when it comes to walking worthy of your calling?