What Ministry Has Taught Me While Working in a Library

I have not posted anything here in a good while so I pray that everything is going well with you.  School, work, fatherhood, and ministry have taken up quite a bit of my time as of late.  Hopefully, if things slow down, I will be able to share with you a little bit more.  In the meantime, I’m asking for prayer and patience.

I’m not sure that some of you know but, I work in the library system.  I got this job almost 3 years ago.  To be truthful, this was not my first choice–I’m in the IT field and I kinda miss it–But I’m still thankful in the long run because this experience has given me a glimpse of what the Pastorate feels like.  Let me give you a few examples.

1.  Everyone that comes in needs help in some way.  My branch is open Monday-Saturday.  During the times that we are open, there are several people who come in that need help.  Some of these people are regulars and some aren’t.  This is not unlike your local churches where we have some members that have been there for decades but there are the occasional visitor that will come to worship.

2.  There are some that want your help.  Of the people who visit the branch on a daily basis, there are some folks that really need your help.  It could be looking for a book to read for themselves or their child or looking for directions to a location in the city or faxing paperwork to various agencies or even needing help with research on the computer.  At the church, there are folks that come to worship but they are in need of prayer, healing or a question regarding scripture.  They come because there is something missing in their lives and they feel the church is the place where they can get it.

3.  There are some that don’t want your help.  This is interesting.  There have been many times where a patron has come into the branch and did not or does not want your help.  I could go into several reasons why but that could take a while but to give you one example, we offer free computer classes every week where I personally teach basic computer skills.  Remember those folks that come on but don’t want help?  Well they fit into this category because sometimes, my class attendance may be two to three at the most.  Again, the church is parallel to this scenario.  Some folks will come but will refuse to the help that we offer.  Like the library, there are several reasons why but there are too many to name here as well.  Remember the ones that have questions about scripture?  Well, a lot of churches have bible study during the week with a regular attendance of just a few so, where are the folks that have questions?

So what is my point to all of this?  Well, it’s simple.  Since I have been in ministry longer than I have been at the library, I had to come to terms with the fact that both places are a lot alike.  The only thing in common from my perspective is that I’m at both places and I am also there to serve the folks that come in.  Is it frustrating? Sure.  Are there days where I don’t want to go to either place? Definitely.  However I have to remember that it really isn’t about me but who I am serving and who I am trying to help.  It can be draining mentally and sometimes physically but when it’s all said and done, I know I will be back to do it all over again.

Thursday Rant

Well, here we are.  Approaching another summer.  So far, things are pretty much even keel for me. Definitely some challenges that I had to overcome.  Still, new challenges are ahead so for that, I am grateful.

I think I’m really going to try something new this time around.  I’m really going to rely on my faith.  Now, I know this is probably sounding strange coming from me but, let’s face it; we ALL have issues with faith and its lack of use.  The Bible teaches us, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Heb 11:6)  This being said, we have to learn to adjust our faith so that it is at the forefront of our decision-making.  Lately, I have tried to use my faith but, I got in the way.  Too early, in fact.  God will always do things in His time and, when we deviate from that, it can prove disastrous.  You end up missing out on things that you could have very well had, if only you would have just waited.  I am a true witness to this.  I lost what would have been mine but I rushed it.  I was way too eager to seize the opportunity.  Was it fear? Was it pride? Was it selfishness?  Was it even all three?  Those are questions that we have to ask ourselves when we’re faced with this type of situation.  What am I afraid of if I wait? What happens when it doesn’t happen and how will that make me look?  What’s wrong with me having this? Everybody else does.  I WANT ONE TOO!!

Last time I spoke about removing the bandage in order to heal.  Well, this goes hand in hand with that.  The healing process has to begin but you have to trust God that He will heal whatever pain you have, regardless of whether it was self-induced or not.  Paul told the church in Corinth that he had a vision as well as a thorn in his side.  Apparently it was pretty annoying since he asked God to remove it three times.  This is when God spoke to him in verse 9, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Cor 12:9)  This means that, even though I am going through a period, even though my heart may be aching, and even though I feel like it can’t any better, God’s grace is sufficient.  It always has been, it always will be.  We just to trust and have faith that it is so…

P. K. Minister: The Freshman Years…One Term Down

Well, I’ve done it!  I have successfully completed my first term at Liberty University.  It was definitely an amazing journey.  Walking through the corridors of the Old Testament and learning how to be a successful online student have both given me some much-needed insight on how to keep this school thing going.  If there was a drawback, I would say that starting my second term in the process of finishing he first term deemed difficult but, now that the first two classes are over I can get back to being less stressed.  The only difference now is that I have to prepare four sermons for the month of April.  That part I’ve done before but never while attending college.  One of my second term classes is evangelism so, I decided to use that as the focus for the month.  You can never learn too much about how to share the Gospel with others.

I hope everyone had a great Easter celebration.  We had a really great time yesterday, starting with our Sunrise service and followed by morning worship and Holy Communion.  We had a really great attendance as well.  I just pray that the numbers will continue.

Speaking of evangelism, we took to the streets 2 weeks ago and passed out some care packages to the less fortunate folks not too far from the church.  I’m not sure whether they were homeless or not but, they were in definite need.  One of our ministries made bags that contained Toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and soap.  After service that Sunday we passed them out and tried our best to “plant seeds” that, hopefully, landed on fertile soil.  Amazingly, one of the ladies we gave a bag to asked us, “where are the bibles?  It would be really nice if we could have one of those small New Testament bibles to read.”  WOW!!  Goes to show you that even though there are some people out there that are going through life struggles, they still want to read the Word of God. Pretty amazing actually!  I took her request back to the ministry and they said that they will see about buying some for the next time.  I am looking forward to that.

Well, that about sums up my latest adventures.  Stay tuned for more…

P. K. Minister: The College Years

Hello folks,

It’s Friday afternoon and I am really ready to call it quits.  Sometimes, there are not enough hours in the day.  I pray that you all are doing well.

Well, the time has finally arrived.  Yours truly will FINALLY be starting college.  Yes, that’s right.  After years of working for nothing and being unable to break the glass ceiling, I am ready to embark on post-secondary education.  I was recently accepted into Liberty University.  I will be earning my Bachelor’s of Science in Religion with a focus on Biblical and Theological Studies.  This has been a long time coming for me since I am closer to 50 than I am to 20.  I’m really excited about this endeavor and I pray that, once this degree is earned, it will help me in exercising the gift that God has given me.  I will definitely keep you posted.

Until next time…