Having Two Jobs, Am I Busy?
CRE Tim Oster, Bethany Presbyterian-Joplin Missouri
It appears as I reflect for a moment, that I suddenly realize that I have been serving as the Pulpit Supply at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Joplin since October of 2015. Since then, I have also been a full-time teacher at Joplin High School. As you can guess, this does makes life somewhat busy during the school year (from mid-August until late in May). It is interesting that there are some definite similarities in these two endeavors. Let me give you some examples.
Two basic requirements that are needed to be effective in the classroom are extensive preparation, and good communication skills. Truly, these same skills apply to effective leaders of worship. Of course, it takes time and effort to develop these types of skills, and yet there are rewards that come from these efforts. To see a smile of confidence coming from a struggling student, who has just been able to overcome his/her confusion and doubt, and grab ahold of a solid understanding, is a real pleasure. In the same way, a good sermon comes from solid preparation that results in the clear teaching of contextual factors, the remembrance of the steadfast love and grace of God, and includes encouraging reminders of our call to follow the model of Christ Jesus. I have found that preaching about the love of God and the good news of Jesus Christ is a real joy. The feedback here can come from a knowing smile, a well-timed head nod, or a brief comment, yet still these small indications of connection with the message are very personally fulfilling.
I will tell you that I am not special, and that I do not possess a huge degree of talent in either the classroom, or in the pulpit. Yet I am convinced that regular and consistent reading of the Bible has shown me what amazing things that God has done in the past, and what God is capable of doing in the future by making use of regular people like me or like you. I believe that this suggests strongly that each of us are all called to do God’s work in some form or fashion.
You may have already heard this, but when a person is able to find a vocation that is both engaging and fulfilling, they have truly found their avocation. I know that I am busy, but I also know that I have been blessed beyond all measure by God, who lead me to “find” my calling as a teacher, and as a Commissioned Ruling Elder at Bethany Presbyterian Church.
May the peace of our Risen Lord Jesus be with you today, and always.
From The Reverend Dr. Peggy Wobbema, pastor, Trinity Presbyterian, Shell Knob Missouri
From the Reverend Bob Dahlgren, Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, West Plains, Missouri
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