The summer before I left for seminary I played guitar for vacation bible school at my friend’s church. I remember sitting barefoot in the sticky church basement with a felt hat shaped like a crab on my head, beating out a rhythm for “Jesus’ Love is Bubblin’ Over” on the body of the guitar, thinking if this is what ministry is like, sign me up.
I had a similar moment last weekend at our spring lock-in. We took the kids cosmic bowling (I am an atrocious bowler), and around midnight, we discovered the bowling alley clocked mileage on the balls. One of our youth decided to see how fast he could bowl. Turns out a brawny 16-year-old can throw a bowling ball down the lane at over 21 mph. There I stood, in too large bowling shoes, utterly exhausted in the middle of the night, high-fiving a kid whose bowling technique leaves you afraid that at any moment he might lose control and send a bowling ball at you at 21 mph, but who is totally delighted at his accomplishment. Being pastor in that role, in that place, is pretty great. I could make a career out of this.