I have developed a new addiction to this medium known as blogging. I was just realizing it today as I was sitting and playing trains with my kids.
Being a pastor can be very strange because much of my job revolves around things that are not quantifiable. I can meet with a person to talk about his or her marriage, spend some time on the phone or answering email, reading my Bible and praying, but none of that is easily measured in terms of results.
I like results, and every week I am pressured to accomplish one key thing—the sermon. I love preaching, and I love preparing my messages (when I get the right motivation going), but there is one big problem with preaching too. There are no measurable results.
What is the desired result of each Sunday Worship Service and each Sunday Sermon? A changed life. But the level of life change in my congregation each Sunday just isn’t that easily measured.
This is my problem. Much of my responsibilities as a pastor are laying the groundwork for God to produce results in people’s lives, but I myself don’t get to actually produce much.
I compensate by investing myself in writing curriculum, because when I write a class curriculum, I can print it up, bind it in a book, and hold it in my hands, saying “I did that!” I compensate by having every message of mine recorded onto a CD so I can digitize it, post it to the web and then visit my own website to see the pages and hear the audio. “I did that!”
Now, I’ve gotten myself addicted to blogging for the same reason. I can write out a few paragraphs, hit the “Publish” button, and then view the site to see my newly composed entry sitting at the top of my list of posts. I even have to visit my own site from different computers to prove to myself that it’s really out there and available to anyone from anywhere. “I did that.”
When I see a person’s life changed in my congregation, when I see a marriage get restored, or when I see someone come to faith in Jesus for the first time, I get a small sense of satisfaction thinking that I had a part in it, but I can never take the credit for something that God did. “He did that.”
Praying is hard for me because there are no tangible results.
Reading my Bible is hard for me because there are no tangible results.
Talking with people who need spiritual guidance is hard for me because there are no tangible results.
But truthfully, I know those things yield the best and most enduring results of anything. My curriculum is going to be out of date as soon as I print it. My blog site is going to honestly be seen by very few people. My sermons aren’t going to be as effective as I think for as long as I think.
But I’m not in it for me. God doesn’t need me to produce a lot of stuff. He wants me to be faithful to him, to others within my circle, and then to others at a distance.
It’s time to close this post, and spend some time doing something with eternal significance.