Saturday nights for the preacher certainly can be fun—or at least interesting. I remember being in town from seminary at an awesome LSU game when my buddy who was preaching (let’s just call him John L.) left somewhere in the third quarter. (I wonder if he regrets it). Either way, I thought he was crazy.
I am sure there are some pastors who use Saturday to get amped for Sunday. I try to do the same; but I also have small kids, a wife who likes me to be around (she must be crazy), and dear friends. So tonight Courtney and I get to spend some time with these three kids (I had to take a picture of one of their pictures because I forgot to take one before they went to bed!) while their parents celebrate 11 years of marriage. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
I sometimes wish I were a super-preacher. I hear stories of people who spend Saturday nights in prayer and then get up extra early on Sunday and do the same (that may even be some of you), but I never seem to be able to do so. My kids are still generally my alarm clock most days (unless I have to go to one of those Steve Fox 6AM meetings). And you know what? I love where the Lord has us and wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m not a super-pastor or super-preacher. You can learn more from my failures than from my successes. But God has given me a great gift in dear and deep friendships; and those friendships will exist long past the pulpit I currently fill, so they must be cultivated. I want to be the best I can be for my church, but sometimes the best I can be is to be an incredibly ordinary friend. Jesus will build his church and I will throw in as much as I possibly can so long as He lets me.
But I never want to forget that the joy of friendship is a gift many in ministry don’t have. Tonight I don’t take that for granted. Feeding other people’s kids, singing them songs, and putting them to bed is a sermon written on my heart that I cannot prepare for; but it will make the man who walks into the pulpit tomorrow better than he was when he got up this morning.
I promise you that.