Every time that I write, I make 100% sure that I am not writing about current feelings and observations when it comes to ministry before I type a single word. Tonight I am breaking my own rule because I feel that being honest and real about where I am today is the best thing to share. Usually I pull from my past so that others can learn from my stories and experiences. Today I am pulling my past together with my present… from both sides of ministry.
I have been in ministry of various kinds of roles from youth group vice president, class president, writer, teacher and counselor, deacon, speaker, pastor and pastor’s wife. I have been a follower, a leader, a follower that didn’t realize that she was leading and a leader who looked back to find that no one was following. In the last five years I have dedicated my skills to supporting my husband often behind the scenes in a church plant, the most difficult role of all.
Although I have had only three pastors of my own in my life: one as a child, one when I moved out on my own and my husband, I have found plenty of time to judge many. I have come to a new place of repentance today. I have had to repent for every pastor that I have ever judged…
I have sat under the leadership of a pastor that was boring, one that talked about his little kids too often, and the one who played favorites. The pastor down the road with a sweet little family of his own who had an affair with a teenager and got her pregnant, the one who had an affair with a church member, and the one who was so evangelistic that he couldn’t remember my name even though I was a part of his church for 10 years. Oh, and did I mention that his favorite hymn didn’t make sense to me and his wife sang alto which isn’t pretty to you when you are only 12 years old?
Then I remembered today the one who I admired that had an emotional affair with someone in his church and the one who joked poorly about his wife. Better yet, there was the pastor who seemed to be prideful when he won awards for his church giving so much money to missions and then I even judged another one because he was being so judgmental about the pastor who seemed prideful over his missions giving!
How about that pastor who told me I would work well with children when the only kids I had ever babysat were my two cousins because I didn’t enjoy being around kids? How out of touch was he? And that pastor who didn’t do anything about his congregation smoking in the parking lot right after church, how could he ignore such a thing? I mean, after all, it was a Sunday!
Then there was the guy who was verbally mean to his wife in front of others and was out of control angry when he went to his kid’s sports games. Some friends of mine judged his wife too. They left the church because they didn’t like it that she sang the song “I am the God That Healeth Thee,” (a song written in 1986) because it seemed to them that she was singing about how SHE was claiming to be God. Then there were all the youth pastors in training that took wearing ties to church to the utmost level of importance along with the one who annoyingly declared, “God is good…” waiting for someone to finish his sentence with the words, “all the time” as he trotted through the hallways.
I remember the pastor who spiraled into depression because someone told him he was selfish… how weak of him. No, wait, how HUMAN of him. The very men and women who are teaching us about God’s grace and have showed us grace need the very same grace that we do.
Lord, please forgive me for judging my pastors as well as my friends and family member’s pastors. Please forgive me for every phrase of theirs that I twisted and then repeated. Please forgive my attitude of pride. Please have grace on my husband and me now we are in their shoes.
I remember learning about giving grace from these men and women, learning about reaching out to others, how to worship you, how to talk with you in the private moments I have alone with you… and most of all thank you for giving me the guidance from those much wiser than I to apply your word not only to my head but allowing your truth to touch my heart and change me each step of the way.
Thank you for using the pastor’s wife who sang alto to teach me how to serve others gracefully and how to make my home warm and comfortable for others. Thank you for teaching me endurance from the pastor’s wife who endured criticism when her husband strayed from her. Thank you for teaching me the needs of missionaries that I cannot see and would easily forget about if it weren’t for my award winning pastor and evangelistic pastor who could not remember my name.
Thank you for developing my love for children through the anger I had to face when my pastor was out of touch with my discomfort around children. Thank you so much for reminding me that you are the God that healeth me through my pastor’s wife who obviously was just relaying your words to me through song.
Thank you for the nod of fatherly approval from my very first pastor before he passed away last year, even though he still didn’t get my name right. I know that he loved me and he had a bigger picture of life than I had because he saw the world through your calling.
Please forgive me for judging these lovers of people and servants of yours. Had they been perfect, I would have judged them for that too.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pastor Deanna Morauski, CMHC – Deanna’s love for baking and cooking began as she sat upon a baker’s stool as a little girl. Her love for people grew in the midst of church potlucks. Deanna has been a pastor’s wife since 1997. She expresses her loves today creatively through photography and writing for her foodie blog, tastehope.com, as well as hosting guests at her inn, The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast in Snoqualmie Valley, Washington.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
I Corinthians 13:4-7