One of the things that I expected upon entering the pastorate was a chance to settle in, feel things out, learn the ins and outs of how things are done. It’s typically called the “honeymoon phase,” that time when everything seems great and nothing could ever go wrong. Well…that didn’t last long!

Now I’m not complaining because I love the chance to put all the years of training into effect, but it does make me a little nervous. Questions start running through your mind like, “What if I screw up?” or “Will I say the right thing?” or how about, “Will they fire me if I fail this first test?” Now I don’t think I’m in a position in which I’ll actually be let go (I think) but those doubts do start to creep up.

This also highlights some of the areas that my education was lacking. I learned a great deal about how to preach and teach, how to interpret the Scriptures, and make it applicable to my life and others. But dealing with people was not a big topic of discussion. Thankfully I have some wonderful pastor friends that I have been able to ask advice on this situation.

Of course I also have Jesus with me, giving me strength and comfort. The hard part is staying focused on him when it is so easy to ignore things and hope they will go away. Of course that is not the case and so I pray and ask for his continued strength and encouragement in working with these wonderful people and the many challenges that comes with being a pastor.