Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pressing On

In those December days leading up to Christmas 2001, I was scared.  Pastor Jerry Sweat was leaving us.   I could tell you how I had faith that God would send a great person of God to be our next Senior Pastor at Wesley Memorial UMC and that everything would be great.  But I did not have such faith.  I was afraid that things were about to go south again, as they had at FUMC-Kissimmee when John Willis was replaced with The Pastor Who Shall Not Be Named.  I was scared that I had left that position, dragged my family to Chicago, dragged them back to Tampa- and all just to end up in another mess.  My faith was wavering.  But as far as the student ministry was concerned, I knew I had to keep pressing on.

I first learned about the importance of attitude and perseverance in ministry while working at Quaker Lake Camp in the late 1970's.  The summer staff (of which I was a part) would work 8 weeks of camp each summer.  We had different kids and different ages each week.  A week or so after our high school camp, one of the female campers who was near and dear to us all was killed in a car wreck.  We were devastated.  Other high school campers just started showing up at QLC so we could all grieve together.  It was great to have the support of such a community of friends.  There was a problem, however.  The camp full of 4th and 5th grade campers didn't know or care about what we were going through.  They just knew that it was their ONLY week at camp.  Our boss, Neal Thomas, reminded us of that, and explained that we owed them our very best even in the midst of our grief.  So we pressed on.  And God gave us strength to help those campers have a Jesus filled week.

The feelings were not as extreme, but nonetheless I realized that losing Jerry was hurting everyone, not just me.  And so instead of sitting back and awaiting what felt like a death sentence, I shifted into high gear with the youth ministry.  I had come to WMUMC to crank up the volume, and if this was a disaster waiting to happen then I was was gonna' go out swinging.  Friday I'll tell you about adventures in planning a Ski Camp, throwing a Christmas Bash at my house and putting together a Winter WOW!  All of that while waiting for the hammer to fall...

Because of Jesus,

1 comment:

  1. This was a good post for me to read today (of course, as God would have it, because His timing is perfect). Over the past 11 years I feel I have been put through the wringer (on various levels via various situations which revolve around a handful of individuals in this season) and some days I feel so tired of fighting the good fight and I do not desire to "press on" but rather lay as low as possible in the hopes it will all just blow over. So I am thankful for the reminder that ther are others in my life who deserve my best despite the challenges I face regarding "those who shall not be named". :) thankful for you and your blog.

    Kindest regards,


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