Some of what I do as a pastor feels more like Air Traffic Control than it does ministry. That’s not a complaint, mind you, just an illustration. The ATC’s run the airport runways — every plane that leaves the gate, lines up, takes off, and lands again (usually somewhere else) is at the beck and call of someone in a tower wearing a headset and drinking coffee. It’s a stressful job. Pilots fly metal tubes 300 miles an hour in whatever direction and altitude you tell them, and all you’ve got are a pair of binoculars and a DOS green screen with asterisks (*) that represent hundreds of human lives — people like you and me who are just waiting to land, plotting the escape down the aisle before we smell each other’s armpits as we get our carry on from the overhead bins. I’ll tell you who’s really sweating: the guy in the tower looking at 30 planes in a 3 mile radius on a 24″ screen.
That’s what it felt like today as we were laying out the service for this Sunday. Besides the important stuff — you know, worshipping Father, Son, Spirit — there’s a bunch of little but important blips on the radar that need to land in the right order. The small groups ministry needs to be highlighted, but not at the expense of the Kids Ministry leader thing, plus we’re changing our name but not yet so don’t make the checks out to a church that the bank doesn’t believe exists. Plus, there’s the thing about baptism and also how Student Ministry is kicking off with a new schedule AND I think there’s a message I’m supposed to do in there someplace.
I anticipate that every plane will land. Why? Because 1) I’m taking it seriously enough to try and work it out in advance. 2) I have a great staff who can think through these things with me, and are much smarter than I. 3) We’re trusting in Jesus, who says the church is His and He’s building it, not me. So what? So: no pressure. Just do the job. Let the Spirit be the wind beneath the wings. And please, please, please let there be enough pretzels and seltzer water for everyone.