On Showing Up

Yesterday I attended a ministerium (meeting of pastors) for the church fellowship of which Gages Lake is a member. (IFCA International). We meet every other month. I enjoy these times, opportunities to meet other pastors in the region and glean wisdom from those who’ve been doing this way longer than me. As a young pastor, I think it’s important to get around older, wiser men who’ve navigated the pastoral road. This is why I regularly meet with evangelical pastors in my area. I enjoy their fellowship and want their wisdom.

But something really struck me yesterday as I was driving home. It’s a maxim I heard Chuck Swindoll say a few weeks ago at the NRB Convention. He said, “In ministry, maintenance is more common than magnificence.” In other words, there are those really awesome moments, but mostly ministry is about showing up. Yesterday I looked around the room at the faithful pastors in attendance and said, “These are men who continue to show up and do ministry.”

This is the unsexy stuff of faithfulness. It’s what being a man of God is all about, whether you’re a pastor, a plumber or a guy who works in a cubicle. We all dream of greatness, of being the next big thing in our profession–even pastors secretly harbor those dreams. And maybe some of us will get there. But what God is most interested in is our day-in-day-out grinding it out.

Showing up. Day after day. Year after year. Decade after decade. This is what a life of purpose is all about.