Back in July The Young Adult Leadership Task Force (YALT) of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) posted to their blog the top 40 under 40 leaders rising through the ranks in both the CRC and Reformed Church in America (RCA). After reading through the blog post, I noticed a few things. Most were younger than me. A lot younger. Most had accomplished a lot more than me. A lot more. I had just turned 37 a few weeks earlier and realized that I had 3 more years to catch up and do something. I looked back on my career and all the twists and turns I had gone through and saw how little I had accomplished.
I so wanted to be on such a list.
Reading through the blog post, I saw how much these people have done in advancing God’s kingdom–missionaries, church planters, innovators, non-profit start ups. Amazing stuff for God and Jesus. And what have I done? Not much at all to tell the truth. I write this blog (thank you for your readership by the way). I’m working on my Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Care.
But what huge things have I done?
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
It’s been in the back of my mind for the last number of months and I still haven’t thought of anything huge I could do or have done. I wanted to do something revolutionary for the kingdom of God in the CRC (and maybe even in the RCA) but have come up short and wanting.
A month or so back, I had a good conversation and lunch with an old mentor of mine from back in the day. I was realizing that I am older now then he was then when we would sit and talk. He told me that in ministry, we have one job. And we need to do it to the best of our ability.
This got me to thinking. A lot. I’ve been mulling it over in my mind, comparing it to my feeling of inadequacy that the YALT posting brought forth within me (nothing against YALT at all, they’ve been doing a stellar job in the CRC and RCA and we really need their hard work and I greatly appreciate what they’ve been doing). How do I reconcile the two.
And then it hit me.
Jesus’ call to Peter.
I like to say that Peter is the first documented case of ADHD. Dude’s jumping into boats, jumping out of boats, speaks out of turn, always acting first thinking second, he brings a knife to a gun fight. And Jesus says he’ll use Peter to build up the church. And then the night Jesus was betrayed, Peter denied Jesus three times. Something he said he’d never do. And he felt horrible about it to0.
Then, shortly after Jesus’ resurrection, Peter and his friends didn’t know what else to really do, so they went back to work as fisherman. And as they came in from fishing all night, Peter saw Jesus sitting on shore making them breakfast. Jesus then lets Peter know all is alright. All is good between the two of them.
Jesus, though, says to Peter three times something important
“Feed my lambs” John 21:15
“Take care of my sheep” John 21:16
“Feed my sheep” John 21:17
Just one job: Take care of and feed Jesus’ sheep. The sheep aren’t Peter’s. They belong to Jesus. The Church isn’t Peter’s. The Church belongs to Jesus, it is referred to as the Bride of Christ. Peter is given just one job: Take care of Jesus’ Church.
To the point.
As a pastor, I so want to do so much more. I want to preach that sermon that totally changes a person’s life in that moment. I want to be involved in that ministry that forever changes a person in their walk with Jesus. I want to be that pastor, that follower of Jesus, that does something remarkable for the kingdom.
So many pastors feel this way. We read the books, the blogs, go to the conferences, and come back jazzed and ready to go do this new thing we’ve learned about to advance the kingdom of God.
But to tell the truth, I have just one job: Take care of Jesus’ sheep. Feed His lambs. It’s nothing remarkable on the outset. It’s nothing to really write home about. It’s not something that’ll get you on a blog post of the top 40 under 40 up and comers. But it’s something important to the sheep, to the flock, to the church I’m part of.
I have one job. And I aim to do it to the best of my ability.
Just. One. Job.