Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Senior Pastor for a Week

This past week, I finally got a real taste of what being a solo senior pastor is like. My supervisor took his usual January vacation and quite literally left the keys with me. Now, I've definitely had a good sampling of pastoral duties during the past month, but to have all of those duties, and then some, on my shoulders for a week was an absolutely new experience. I was in charge of all the Bible studies and the Pastor's confirmation class (as well as my own classes); I was in charge of knowing everything about who was in the hospital, who was going home, and who needed prayer; I was in charge of the entire liturgy, from the sermon right down to the need to coordinate back-up organists due to extenuating circumstances (of course, we went without the Eucharist on Sunday, and everything went smoothly with our organist!); I was in charge of locking up, of unlocking, and of grabbing a shovel if it snowed on Sunday morning (it didn't!); and most importantly, I was in charge of making sure the bulletin was correct before it went to the presses. Okay, so maybe that last part wasn't the "most" important, but it was still important!

Put on your Pastor Hat!

It was, in short, a week-long learning experience unlike any other. It was the second busiest week of my internship so far, and I loved it. If this is what the ministry is going to be like, I cannot wait. I know some of those tasks sound mundane or even unnecessary, but I have always enjoyed doing background work: the myriad of little details that can go unnoticed but are vital to making things happen.

I am glad that I was able to experience this first-hand immersion into being a solo pastor before I graduate from seminary. Granted, all of internship has been a blessing that is preparing me for my ordained calling, but it's nice to be given the keys for a week. I'm pretty sure I brought it back in one piece, too.

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