The work of pastoral ministry is multi-faceted. Lately, in addition to preaching, teaching, visiting hospital patients, welcoming visitors, and preparing for Holy Week and Easter Worship Celebrations, I have been leading committees in our congregation in the search for a Minister of Music and for an Associate Pastor. In some ways, the process of calling and interviewing potential staff members is a blessing. It is a sign that the church is growing and the ministries of the church are expanding. It is also a joy to meet new people, get to know colleagues in ministry, and pray about the possibilities that are connected with hiring new staff members.
At the same time, the process of finding staff members can be draining. There are so many things to consider. Who is the best "fit" for the congregation's needs and the needs of the ministry? How will potential staff members work with me and the current staff members? Along with these and hundreds of other questions, there is the sadness involved in saying good-bye to the beloved staff members we are seeking to "replace."
As I write these words, I am revealing that I am tired. But more importantly, I am expressing that I am yearning for the pure nourishment and ministry of the Gospel. Sure, finding staff members is essential to the ministry of the church, but I want to share the Gospel. I want to be about the Father's work of healing hearts and mending wounds. In a nutshell, I am ready for Easter. I am ready to celebrate. I am ready to leave the darkness of Lent and find the rest and peace of Resurrection.
How about you? May God give each of us the grace to faithfully finish this Lent and to attend to the journey of our Lord to the cross during this upcoming Holy Week. The mystery and grace of our Resurrected Lord is just around the corner.