Thursday, January 23, 2014

Everything I needed to know to be a Pastor I learned as a Sunbeam!

Two weeks ago I said I was going to start writing… well, didn’t do too good on that one.  At least not yet!  I suppose if you have nothing to say, you shouldn’t say it. I think I’ve heard that before.  

Now I’m a pastor.  I’ve been a pastor before but only “sort of.”  By most accounts pastoring a small group in a coffee shop doesn’t really count.  I’ve been pastoral in many ways but without a church.  Just that person people come to with their needs and concerns.  The one with a shoulder people could cry on and find support.  

Prone to self-reflections and doubts, I wonder if I am really prepared.  I have the education.  I have the desire.  I have the heart.  Most importantly, I have the “call.”  Now I have somewhat of a stamp of approval from a large denomination.  The church I pastor has a wonderful history, beautiful people, and meets in a lovely white church with a steeple that lights up at night.  It's the type of church of Norman Rockwell art. 

I drove into church last night from a different direction.  I could see the steeple in the distance.  Like a lighthouse for souls in the song The Lighthouse.  You can hear it here.

One of the congregants in the church said I glow in the pulpit.  Glow? Me?  I think what she meant was that she can tell how very happy I am to be a pastor.  Preaching is the easiest part.  Visitation is the hardest.  I’m shy by nature and much more introverted than people think when they see me preach or teach.  I’m polite to a fault, a product of my childhood where children should be seen and not heard.

I guess this makes me the glowing pastor of the church with the glowing steeple.  But isn’t that what the scripture says?  Listen to Matthew 5:14-16 from The Message:

 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

That’s it – bringing out the God colors in the world.  Not keeping God a secret - being a light-bearer.  I don’t have to worry about how prepared I am; I just have to shine.  God has put me on that hilltop with a lighted steeple with a congregation of people who love Jesus, now we need to shine.

As a kid I was a Sunbeam.  It is the Salvation Army’s girls scouting type program.  I’ve written about it before, you can read that here.   As a Sunbeam, I learned how to shine.  The words of this song seem to capture it very well. 

1.   Jesus wants me for a sunbeam,
To shine for Him each day;
In every way try to please Him,
At home, at school, at play.
o    Refrain:
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
Jesus wants me for a sunbeam;
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
I’ll be a sunbeam for Him.
2.    Jesus wants me to be loving,
And kind to all I see;
Showing how pleasant and happy,
His little one can be.
3.    I will ask Jesus to help me
To keep my heart from sin;
Ever reflecting His goodness,
And always shine for Him.
4.    I’ll be a sunbeam for Jesus,
I can if I but try;
Serving Him moment by moment,
Then live for Him on high.


  1. Brilliant! Truly inspiring. I look forward to reading great things from you.

  2. I like this a lot. Great writing even tho we don't talk or speak I want you to know I am truly sorry for how I treated you I will be praying for you and for great things for you.and despite what you might think or feel about me. I will always care for you and will have a place in my heart because you helped me more than you know and I want you to know your not just a shoulder to cry on. Your so much more and just a thought it's okay to meet people's needs because they are hurting so bad that their not always listening so meeting their needs like for people who have no food or even felt love if you meet those needs in which hurts them they are more likely to listen because when they hurt and starving, unloved its hard for them to believe just our words to know god loves them.


Please keep comments appropriate