| merry christmas |
Our Downtown Staff Christmas Party!
So blessed and honored to serve alongside these men and women! God has surrounded me with people who intentionally love me and challenge me and for that I am so grateful!
Here’s a brief overview of the things I’m learning:
I’m learning that I don’t know how much as I thought I knew (…surprise!)
When it comes to various topics and theological concepts I’ve relied heavily on the teachings of those who I trust. Yet as I take this development course- it feels like my legs are being kicked out from under me. I’ve been standing on the shoulders of others and now I’m being asked to stand on my own- on the foundation of Scripture. I’m learning to reference specific scriptures and what the whole bible has to say about topics- not just point to a good sermon on it. But the best part is that I’m not learning just to know more, I’m learning so that I may pastor, shepard and lead people better.
I’m learning what means to pastor someone well.
I been a part of several conversations and situations in which I’ve gotten to witness and partake in what it looks like to pastor someone. Not simply address their physical or financial needs, but their deep spiritual needs as well. To steward the gifts of God’s people well. To protect and shepard the flock while loving on individuals. It’s incredible to be invited into that kind of space. The example of how to intentionally care for someone while pointing them to God that I’ve seen first hand has been beautiful to witness.
Someone broke into my car and stole my backpack...with my laptop:( Don’t worry, like a good neighbor, State Farm was there. And God did, as he always does, use this to reveal things in my heart and make me trust him more.
I MOVED! Besides having to escape every now and then to feed my introversion with the transition to having roommates, it’s been great to have a place to host, cheaper rent, and a shorter drive to work!
I’ve been asked to continue in this interim role with Service Teams until March while they continue looking for the full time director.
In serving in this interim role, one of my big tasks is working out the details for this Advent season. I’m learning that it’s one thing to decorate for Christmas… and it’s another thing to decorate for Christmas and then stuff all the tress into a storage unit outside the high school gym every week. That, plus the traveling of most of our volunteers over the holiday season keeps my hands full! I’ve realized that Christmas means something different for most folks in ministry. I’m learning what it means to take on a burden so that the people of God my rest and be refreshed this time of year.
I also won’t be able to journey home for the holidays- and while it’s difficult to know I’ll be missing out on time with family, I’ve been so encouraged by the family of God stepping up and inviting me in. I get such a more tangible picture of the way God talks about being adopted into his family. And so for that, I’m grateful. (Also grateful that it was 70° out today!)
With all that said, it’s been a crazy couple of months. Yet this has truly been one of the best experiences so far! I love the people I get to work alongside, I love the mission and passion of our church, I love the servant-hearted lay leaders I get to interact with, and I love studying and learning more and more about our God.
It’s exciting to be a part of what God is doing in and through the people of The Austin Stone. Just a couple weeks ago we celebrated 41 baptisms from our Downtown Congregation and I was blown away to hear story after story of the ways God is working in the hearts of the people. It’s truly been incredible and such a honor!
Thank you for your continued support and prayers. I’d ask you to continue to pray for me in learning how to balance all the above (because I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but it’s been busy…). Please pray that in the midst of the craziness I would continue to seek intimacy with God. As I’m learning, it’s easy to do a lot of things for God, even learn a lot about him, and yet not to be near to him. My prayer is that these crazy times and constant learning would draw me closer to the heart of God.
I hope that this Christmas would be a time of refreshment for you as we are reminded of the humility & love of the God that we serve! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!