What’s your story? If someone were to write a movie about your life as an associate, what would it be about? I fear for too many of us, the climactic scene we most desire is receiving a job offer to be the lead/solo pastor of a congregation. I can see the movie: a new pastor comes out of seminary, gets a job as an associate where he/she goes through the motions. Everyday we see the associate at her desk doing reports, leading a group or two, and doing what it asked all the while waiting for their big break. Finally, at the end of the movie, the offer comes for a church where he will be the lead pastor, and the screen fades to black. As the credits roll, are you tearing up? Are you inspired?
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to invest $10 to see that movie, let alone invest years living it. Inspiring movies and inspiring lives, are about those who make the most of the opportunities given them; those who do something meaningful with their lives.
My guess, I haven’t done a study, is most associates do aspire to be lead/solo pastors someday. You, unlike me, may be one has been called by God to be a lead pastor one day. But for now, you are an associate, and God has plans for your ministry now! (For more on choosing to be an associate see my earlier post, “We’re Number 2!“) You must decide what you will do with this opportunity God has presented to you.
I recently worked through Donald Miller’s Storyline: Finding Your Subplot in God’s Story workbook. Miller’s work is based upon the premise the elements that make a good story make a good life – hence, the movie metaphor above. We live many stories – spouse, parent, child, employer, friend, etc. Our job is to clarify our stories by deciding how we want the story to end. What would be the climactic scene of your marriage, your parenting, and for our purposes, your ministry as an associate?
My prayer for each associate is they will see beyond their desire to be a lead pastor, or their desire to simply support the church they serve, and begin to live a better story. May your story be an inspiration to others as you lead your congregation, your youth group, your Sunday School, your Bible study group, or whatever other ministry you have. May you allow God to use you to change lives, to make a difference, to live in such a way that when the credits roll on your ministry, others will well up with tears.
Learn more about Storyline at Storyline.com, StorylineBlog.com, and check out some more of what its about by looking at some life plans on MySubplot.com. You can see mine here: Joe’s Subplot (Only my professional subplots are public. I also have private subplots for my roles as husband, father, and son).