I suppose it’s sort of the new version of the “put your oxygen mask on first” story that we have heard a bizillion times. You know the airline attendant will always runs through the safety precautions before a flight.  They inevitably make the statement, “In the event of unexpected pressure drop in the cabin an oxygen mask will drop before you. Make sure to put yours on first before helping others.” We have heard it referenced often in Christendom as well. Take care of your relationship with Christ before reaching out to others. Now we look to Facebook (for those of us still using it) for analogies. It too has been “played out,” I’m sure. On our profiles, under the about section there is the space for you to declare a “Relationship Status.”  Every once in a while we see it change when someone gets married or breaks up with a significant other. When Facebook first became popular it felt like some pastor somewhere was always asking, “So what’s your relationship status with Jesus?”

Yes, us Christians like to over-use these “real life comparisons.”  Youth pastors are the worst. We think tying stories from every day life to our spiritual life will help others make the transition to “doing something” about their faith. Of course, when as I was thinking about this I actually had to go on Facebook to see what my “relationship” choices were. I just had to know. Here is the screen shot from my discovery on my own profile:

 

Screenshot 2014-04-16 12.12.07

Goodness it’s true. I have heard the analogies so many times I rolled my eyes, and said, “I get it. I should be close to the Lord.”  Then I saw this. It made me think of my own “relationship status” with Jesus. (Yes, I said it.)  I do have to go “there,” before I can even talk to my students.

I think of how many of these ideas I have indeed taken in my time with Christ.  I won’t belabor “explaining” each one, I think you are smart enough to have your own “AHA” moment.

How many of our own students would describe their God relationships as “open” or “complicated?” I guess those who have never heard are “single.”  For us in our heart are we “civil” or just “in a relationship?”

Yet, I believe His best choice for us would be to be “married” to Him. He wants us that close and intimate.

How many of us honestly are “separated” from the Lord right now as we struggle with disappointment, grief or frustration?  Do we accuse our students of being “engaged” and not taking the plunge when it’s more true for us?

Have you lost your first love?

I think as we celebrate Easter, it’s vital to truly figure out our “status.”  I guess analogies really can be convicting after all. At least for me. Now I need an oxygen mask or something.

Where do you stand?

Leneita / @leneitafix

How To Lead Your Pastor

Chris Wesley —  January 31, 2013 — 13 Comments

I used to have heated arguments with my pastor.  They were exhausting and painful.  I remember walking into the church office after a moment of confrontation filled with resentment thinking, “If I ran this church it would be better because I would…”  All that mindset did was drain me.  Many times the reason pastors and youth pastors clash is because of a disagreement on decisions, strategies or leadership.

While you may never want to be a pastor you might have some thought and ideas on how it should be done.  Before you get ready to go off and plant your own church, consider that maybe you need to do a better job of leading up.  If you ever want your pastor to listen to your ideas and you want to LEAD UP you need to make sure you:

  • Offer Encouragement: Your pastor takes on much of the criticism and burden that leading a church will bring.  It’ll be easy for him to feel defeated and hopeless, you need to be a cheerleader.  Not only will this give him confidence; but, it will help him see that you are loyal to his leadership.  Loyalty is often rewarded.
  • Practice Obedience:  As the leader your pastor needs to make decisions.  Some you’ll agree with and others not so much.  If you disobey your pastor and constantly undermine his decisions you are showing a lack of trust and signs of arrogance. Showing obedience to your pastor is also a sign of trust in God.  After all your pastor is in the position he is in because of God.  While he might not always have it right, your obedience will help you build clout so that you can guide him in the right direction.
  • Praise Publicly Confront Privately: Never criticize your pastor publicly.  When you speak about your pastor in the open you shape people’s perspectives.  You will not only hurt his image, but the churches and even yours.  If you have a problem with a decision he’s made or something he’s done confront him privately.  Set up a meeting where you can chat one on one, so that he’s not embarrassed in front of others.
  • Continually Communicate: If you ever want to influence up you need to consistently communicate with your pastor.  That means being honest with your struggles and letting him know your needs.  It also requires that you ask your pastor, “How can I serve you?”  What you are really saying to him is, “How can I help you out?”  This builds a healthy relationship so that when you are in trouble or in need you have an ally.

The relationship you have with your pastor is going to depend on your personalities.  Even if you are coming from completely different ends of the earth, you can influence him by earning his respect, trust and loyalty.  You won’t get your way in ministry if you are knocking him down, disobeying his decisions and making him out to be a bad guy.  Lead up by showing him you are worth following.

How do you strengthen the relationship you have with your pastor?