After sharing some closing thoughts with our staff this past week, one of our newer staff members, Dee Mathis, stopped me and asked: “What’s the one thing you’d say is most important as a staff member?” She said she’d watched people who served for a long time with joy and impact, and wanted to know what they thought was most important.
I’d just shared a few things at our staff lunch I believed were important for our staff going forward. I’m stepping down from the role as Lead Pastor this Sunday and am excited to present Chris Hurst to our church as our new Lead Pastor. (Note: This has been a 5 year process initiated by me and covered with prayer by me and our Board.)
I thought for just a moment as Dee asked this question and said something along the lines of – “Make sure you maintain an authentic relationship with Jesus.” In the busyness of ministry, don’t get so busy you miss the importance of abiding in and staying vitally connected with Jesus. (John 15, Luke 10:38-42).
I think I added, SLOW DOWN, take time to be with Jesus; listen and talk with Him. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 46:10 in the Message paraphrase which says: “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” I’m still learning how to slow down and listen.
Without this kind of connection to Jesus/God we are actually powerless to do anything with eternal significance. In addition, staying connected to Jesus daily helps us keep our focus on what He said was most important: loving God and loving people as He did. When you love God and people as Jesus did, you’ll be reminded daily of the purpose of Jesus and be encouraged to live in a way that will inspire people to trust and follow Jesus and grow in their relationship with Him.
These are just a few of my thoughts this morning as I prepare for tomorrow as my last day as Lead Pastor of Grace Fellowship! They don’t just apply to someone serving on a church staff; they apply to anyone who is a follower of Jesus.