Pastors, Shepherds and other misconceptions

Unbeknownst to us, Jeff’s background check had not yet been received on Tuesday morning.  Thankfully he came to the class with me.  I knew I was going to need his presence to keep these kids moving along. I planned to use Jeff’s medical leave of absence to the fullest.  I asked him to introduce himself to the kids. He started telling them of his 33 years of working for Boeing and all the different kinds of jobs he’d had related to airplanes.   There was sharp intake of breath from the kids as they exclaimed, “We thought you had to be a Village Missions Pastor to be at this conference!” Jeff said, “Well, my Dad was a PK and my grandfather was a pastor. Does that count?” They talked among themselves and decided that it counted and he could stay.  This led to a discussion of what a pastor is and does.  A shepherd who looks out for their sheep by leading and guiding them to good pastures, finding good water and taking care of injuries. People can and do work and do this kind of things for people in other situations.

We moved from our lesson on how God places us in the family, church, neighborhood, and etc to be a light in that situation that points people to Jesus. I shared some of my insights about lighthouses from my trip to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.  Jeff read the story about the Tillamook Lighthouse which has a rather exciting history full of danger and worth reading about.   I discovered very quickly in the week that if Jeff started the day with a Bible reading and prayer, the whole day went better. We had the kids stand up during the reading of scripture.  Jeff was a willing participant in doing hand motions with the kids as we taught them our Creation Song, The Lords army with two new-to-them verses, and 1 Corinthians 16:13 to the tune of “Are you sleeping Brother John?”

Our focus this week was on the fact that God knew He was going to create them from before the foundation of the world and that He had specific “work” for them to do as they and their families are placed to be a lighthouse in the community they are in.  What is a lighthouses job? It is to be the light bearer and light

shiner.  I shared that my family moved eight times between kindergarten and 7th grade when we finally bought a house and stayed put.  Life still changed as my parents collaborated with a pastor and started a Methadone Maintenance program to help heroin addicts get off of that drug and onto Methadone.  This meant that I as the oldest was left in charge of my four younger siblings as my parents were out long hours supervising the detox.  A hard thing for sure that often felt unfair and unjust especially when I got in trouble for things my siblings had left undone or had done. However, the blessing was moving to a school district that had an orchestra, choir and art program and changing to a church that had an amazing musical theatre program that inspired me for my whole life.

Sometimes God moves our “lighthouse” to a new location or may be moves us to the position of tug boat or buoys that mark the channel so the boats know where the safe passage is. As we go through trials, storms and difficulties that life brings to us, frequently through no fault of our own,  His light shines through us to light His way for others to follow. Jesus said, “In this life you will have trouble. But be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Ministry affects the whole family.  I guessed that they (the kids) often hear far more details about what is going on in their parents churches than the adults realize.  They confirmed this as one said their bedroom is at the end of a long hall and another said that their room is right next door to their parents room. We took some time to ask for prayer requests and prayed for their concerns prior to starting a watercolor project.

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