the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Blah, Blah, Blahs.....

Today's sermon was dry, flat and uninspired. Well, read it below if you don't believe me. I couldn't get my engine cranked by following the plan so I jumped around and ad-libed until I got lost. I had very little preparation in the first place. Do you ever get to the point in your life where you have done something so many times that you forget that it doesn't just come automatically, but needs preparation?

The day was not a total loss. I had a very good nap between 2 and 4. Seriously, the evening service was good because a young man for whom I have been praying for a long time, came to both services. He comes frequently to the morning services, but he came to the evening service tonight for the first time. Our Evening service is very informal. He asked a lot of good questions which shows he is thinking about God and the proper place for God in his life.

I keep thinking about how to do church. My congregation makes no comments about the content of the service or the quality. They just keep coming and keep supporting the treasury. Is a liturgical service better than a traditional evangelical service? Is the music right? (you know we don't even have a music director) I have to select the congregational songs and lead the singing as well as all of the prayers, scripture readings and sermons.

I'm working between 50 and 60 hours a week at my secular job and am frequently tired when I get home in the evening. Sometimes I just don't feel like sermon preparation, why so often I don't even feel like soul preparation.

God, I know I complain a lot. And self-pity is an ugly look. But, I am indulging myself here on the blog in hopes some poor sucker will come along and punch my "tough shit" card.

Father, I know I am doing your will. I want to do it. I want to do it better than I did today. Help me to rely on you more and stop thinking I can just improvise my way through a worship service.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Tripp said...

I would like to punch that tough shit card for you, brother, but I am in a similar boat. I am hoping a little hot chocolate will perk me up.

I just completed a post about preaching and liturgy and how much of a crap shoot iit can feel like.

How often do we hear: "Worship life is everything" and yet there seems to be no reliable means to measure our success. How well does it articulate the faith lives of those who attend? How well does it articulate the gospel?

It is a pain in the kiester!

2/19/2006 10:44 PM  
Blogger HeyJules said...

Tentman:

Do you have NO ONE in that entire church that would LOVE to pick out the songs for you? Not ONE soul that would be flattered if asked to chip in and do their part??? I guess what I'm really asking is are you working this many hours because you have to or because no one is stepping up to the plate and helping out?

My suggestion...Have a big class on spiritual gifts. Find out who has what and then SIGN THEM UP!

: )

2/20/2006 3:25 PM  
Blogger Songbird said...

Honestly, I don't know where you find the juice to do anything for worship after 50 to 60 hours at another job. I feel very spoiled by comparison.
Blessings to you brother, and more good naps!

2/20/2006 9:27 PM  
Blogger Revem said...

I agree with Songbird. I did the whole full time job and church for a year and it almost killed me.

I relation to getting help.
For the last year and a bit I have been carrying the role of Kids ConneXions Coordinator (sunday School). I told them at the begining of last year I would only do it for a year and no one step up. So I made the decision to tell them last week that I wasn't going to continue after this term. That I valued it as a ministry but it was taking away from what I am called to do and if the church valued it then they needed to ensure it continued. At the end of the meeting I had 2 people come up and offer to take it on!

All this to say sometimes we have to step back and trust God to catch it.

Emma

2/20/2006 11:41 PM  

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