Home > Uncategorized > A pastor’s life is a carousel

A pastor’s life is a carousel

Those were the word’s of C.J. Mahaney in one of the most formative sermons on my life to date. I will never forget them. In his message at T4G 2008 he likened the up & down motion of those animals you sit on during a carousel ride to the emotional life a pastor can go through. In the same day you can experience the joyful salvation of a college student and the harsh reality of an affair by one of your members. Life and Death, joy and pain, all coming in waves.

I experienced a little of this last Friday. I feel like I am just now able to type on it and I apologize if my words are a little raw still. I lead a group of about 6 men who are all in leadership at our church and who I count as close friends. At 11am one man’s wife gave birth to his 3rd son. An exciting moment. At 1pm another man in that group laid his son to rest who was born on Sunday and passed away on Monday. I wept hard alongside him during that difficult moment. At 6:30 I performed a wedding of two young friends, a fun celebratory moment. Each of those moments will stay in the minds of those families, and in mine as well, for the rest of our lives. They were major moments.

And here is where Mahaney’s sermon was so helpful. He said if we lived only by the emotions how pitifully distraught would be the life of a pastor. But if we live grounded in the unchanging hope that comes from the gospel, we are free from the tyranny that occurs when our emotions are in control. We are emotional creatures no doubt. I believe it was right for me to smile and to cry and to cheer and to hurt on Friday. But my I do not mourn (or celebrate) as one without hope, but one with great hope (1 Thess 4:13)!! See, theology is deeply applicable to life. And the pastor, or for that matter the christian, who does not immerse himself in the scriptures is in danger of missing the hope of the gospel. I am grateful that all 3 of the couples from Friday have much hope in the gospel. Their trust in Christ has deeply affected me and for each of their friendships I am grateful.

So Christian, your ups and downs will come whether you are a vocational pastor or not. Are you throwing yourself into the gospel today? I beg you to.

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