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one of those days

May 11, 2009

I need to confess that I’m having “one of those days” today.  Don’t worry, I’m not burning out, falling into sin, or even remotely thinking about leaving ministry.  I love my job more than I ever have and am more excited about The Bridge than ever.  It’s just one of those days and I need to get it off my chest.

Today I just don’t feel like being a pastor.  As the church is growing the relationships I feel like I need to keep up with multiply while my time stays the same.  Whether it’s true or not, I’m afraid people get frustrated that I can’t spend as much time with them as I used to and I feel stretched and always behind.  Today it sounds good to work from six to four (I like early mornings), leave everything at the office, and come home to watch basketball, hang out with Jana and not worry about the phone ringing, a personal crisis happening, or after-dinner meetings.  Smoking a cigar with friends every now and then and getting a tattoo I’ll regret in a year sounds good today… and I don’t even like cigars or tattoos.  It just sounds nice today for nobody to care about whether or not I do it.

The funny thing is, I have no reason for today to be “one of those days” and tomorrow I’ll wake up fine.  God is doing more now in The Bridge than ever before since I’ve been here.  He’s moving, I get to see the church growing theologically, relationally, and missionally, and yesterday was one of the most joyful and celebratory days I’ve had in months.  It’s just one of those days today.  After typing this I debated about whether or not to post it, but The Bridge has always valued genuineness and I need to model it.

Anybody else have these days?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. tasha permalink
    May 11, 2009 10:27 am

    I’m having one of those days, too (something in the water maybe?). I’m not a pastor though, just a mom. I can’t offer much encouragement — I think I have these days more than I care to confess, but thank you for your genuineness.

  2. Dale permalink
    May 11, 2009 11:04 am

    If you didn’t feel this way, we would have to worry! You are human and it’s natural to feel this way. Take your bride and have a short ride in the country or a walk in the park and you’ll come back ready to face 4th down and long.

  3. Mary Bea permalink
    May 11, 2009 1:32 pm

    @Tasha: you are not alone there girlfriend as a Mom I feel like I have more than my fair share of those days as well…
    @Josh: I agree with Dale…take a day…you’ll come back and be ready to take a shot like Big Baby last night at the end of the game…
    in general I think the cooler weather and the rain (again!) adds to the “one of those days” feelings…

  4. Seth Massa permalink
    May 11, 2009 6:57 pm

    YES!!!! I’ve had plenty of days I was on the verge of quitting my job, but at the same time, God placed me in this job and he hasn’t told me somewhere else to go at the moment. Through this I’ve learned how to be content even when I’m not the happiest with the situation. Doesn’t make the work any more fun though.

    I’m totally ready to go and get that tattoo though…

    I also think we need to go ahead and start setting up the next war room man date.

  5. Serena permalink
    May 12, 2009 7:53 am

    I know I definitely feel those ways as a Mom and I’m sure once I start back to work I’ll feel that way many days as I’m adjusting to being away from my little girl. I just keep telling myself (I’m trying to go ahead and start dealing with the fact that I won’t get to see her all day long) something I read in a FlyLady book that my job is a blessing to our home. Your job is a blessing to more than just your home. You and Jana are a blessing to all of us at the Bridge and all of the future “Bridgers”. You are such a hard worker and so dedicated to all of us that maybe this is God’s way of wanting you to just rest today. It’s okay to have days where you are not happy/content/enthused (whichever word suits your fancy) but sometimes you just need to rest in order to have the other.

  6. John Howard permalink
    May 12, 2009 8:15 am

    Jesus taught thousands, but he only pastored/ministered to 12. It’s no wonder you feel like you are not keeping up with the relationships you need to. Find your twelve. Make sure they have 12. It worked for Jesus. You’re still going to have “one of those days”, they just don’t need to have relationship guilt in them.

    • May 12, 2009 8:33 am

      Have had those days many times. You have received wise counsel from every person who has written you in the above noted messages. A few things to keep in mind…

      1) God is God and you are not. You’re not responsible to grow a church, Scripture tells us God grows a church as He chooses.
      2) John is right… You can only shepherd a handful. That’s why we have small groups, so all persons can be shepherded rather than herded. Some pastors herd their congregations simply moving the masses from place to place. The pastor loses, the church loses, the Kingdom suffers. If we are to present everyone mature in Christ (Colossions) we have to shepherd shepherds.
      3) Satan does not like what is happening at The Bridge. He attacks the leaders first. I would imagine, if you talk with other elders, they may be having the same feelings some days.
      4) On the day you don’t feel like pastoring… Don’t! Become a fisherman (Do like Mike Huckabee did and get a boat and name her Visitation.) for a day or a movie reviewer or read part of that fiction novel you’ve been wanting to complete.
      5) Remember you are just another person in the body of Christ with equal responsibility but greater authority.
      6) If possible… hang out with the elders. While pastoring and working a full-time job I would sometimes become dangerously overwhelmed. I found that being with the elders at The Bridge was the most refreshing thing in the world. They are the most sincere, gracious, and wise group of leaders I know of.

      Another option… Call your dad. He’ll take you golfing, to lunch, or to the movie you’ve been wanting to see.

  7. Dave Hall permalink
    May 12, 2009 8:23 am

    There you have it. We all have those days. So now stand up, dust off your tunic and sandals and get over it. Move on, you’ve wallered in pool of pity where Satan hangs out long enough. You will only find neutral on a car. In life you are only moving forward or backwards…it’s your choice.
    Just be glad I don’t head up the ministry of “Compassion and Mercy”
    Brother Dave (we’re blood)

  8. josh permalink
    May 12, 2009 8:48 am

    @Tasha, Mary Bea, Seth, Dale, Serena, John, Dad, and Dave – I needed to hear that badly. Thank God for the priesthood of every believer. You all ministered to me heavily today.

    Dave – would you consider overseeing our benevolence process at The Bridge, meeting people in moments of need and crisis? Love you, brother!

  9. shelley permalink
    May 12, 2009 11:52 am

    it’s all been said. wow. one of the things we love best about the bridge is authenticity — and you and your dad lead the pack. thank you.
    I was Ireading this week in I chron 16 about when David went to all the effort & celebration to bring the ark back to Jerusalem. he offered an incredible psalm of thanks (vv. 8-36), but the part that really struck me was the last verse in that chapter: “Then all the people left, each for his own home, and David returned home to bless his family.” His blessing and ministry wasn’t just for “the people,” but was also (and just as importantly) for his home and his family too.

    You are blessed to find refresh-ment in your home and your wife. We appreciate your ministry and your leadership, & pray that God sustains you each time you have “one of those days” — which are gonna happen more and more frequently as God continues to pour His blessings down on the bridge and Satan continues to up his tactics.


  1. Pursuit (part 5): Scripture meditation « .. josh’s blog ..

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