After 3 months of going to bed and sleeping like a baby, I am back in the real life of pastoring. Many of my nights since my sabbatical have been filled with “counting sheep”.
Who left while I was gone?
Who’s marriage is struggling?
Who’s developed a disease?
Who’s lost a family member?
Who’s lost their job? Their house?
Who’s mom got Alzheimer’s?
Who’s son was arrested?
Who’s gotten mad at someone?
Who’s had an affair?
Who’s family member was shot?
Who’s upset with the church?
Who’s mad at me about our position on homosexuality?
Who’s left their ministry position?
Who’s stopped volunteering?
Who’s dropped down to attending once a month?
I could fill names into these questions, in many cases, I can give you multiple names.
I have been back 20 days and all of these questions and all of these faces plow through my mind in the middle of the night.
When 1200 people call our church their home and you have been gone for 3 months…there is lots of counting to do.
That doesn’t include the corporate questions…
What staff have been underperforming?
What staff have gotten less motivated or a bit misdirected?
How do we address the economic realities we are facing?
When are the offerings going to start rebounding?
How do I restructure the staff for optimal efficiency?
How do we get the Community Center finished and operational when the bills just doubled and the City is being a huge hurdle?
So while I sleep well for 5 or 6 hours, then I awaken to count sheep.
Pastoring is a high privilege…but it’s really a hard calling.
Counting sheep is supposed to put you asleep…mine keeps me from sleep.