Dear Pastor, It is okay to mourn your church.

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man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair

I had just finished a Zoom meeting with some area ministers.  The third Tuesday of every month is a time for us to gather over a meal and encourage each other in ministry.  As we were discussing some of the challenges in this new way of doing ministry.  As one pastor put so elegantly, “I’m finding out how much I am missing my congregation.”

Ministry is full of challenges.  I had heard on the pastor say that when he was in seminary, the professor proclaimed, “Ministry would be fun if there were no people.”  Before COVID-19, this statement would have gotten a few laughs and nods, but as the comment was said, there was no laughing, just a hollowness in our hearts and minds.  We may not miss the negativity, the gossip, the hurtful anonymous letters, and the personality conflicts.  But what we do miss, is the voice, eyes, touch, presence of an individual, even if that same individual has wronged you.

I have seen ministers who have defied government orders by still having services in their buildings.  I have seen pastors who have had criticism from the community, by doing a drive-in service; some even had had the police called on them.  Some pastors sit by the phone to receive updates from congregants who have been hospitalized while some preach a eulogy to a camera in an empty funeral home chapel, as no one has come out for services in fear of getting sick.

I get it.

I get that you love your church members

I get that you feel lost when you can not do a visitation, or go to the hospital, or preach a sermon in an empty sanctuary (or in your home)

I think of the parable of the lost sheep, except instead of one missing, its the whole flock that has been separated in separate areas while the shepherd is, for better or worst, trying to reach and feed the sheep under his/her care in new ways and, if we are being honest, you are completely lost.

So my suggestion to you, pastor, is to grieve.  Go somewhere and grieve this loss.  Go and grieve the simple handshakes, nudges, smiles, bump-ins, that most pastors take for granted.  Also, remember that your flock is not missing, they are just confined and they mourn too.  They miss you, and one day, they will be back and the church body will (hopefully) be stronger and united than ever, in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Episode 85: How the Coronavirus is affecting us w/ Thad Davis

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Episode 85: How the Coronavirus is affecting us w/ Thad Davis

Scott talks with Thad Davis in how COVID-19 is affecting us. This was recorded a month ago, so it is interesting to listen to how things have transpired in the four weeks after this had been recorded.

Episode 78: The Boys, Government, & Evangelicalism

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Episode 78: The Boys, Government, & Evangelicalism

 

In this episode, Scott continues his thoughts on last week’s episode by looking at the Amazon Original, “The Boys” and the toxic relationship between the Government and Evangelicals.

New Year, New Podcasts

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Happy New Year! I was asked by a listener to address a topic on the intersection between pop culture and one’s faith. So this year I will be working on a series that will cover those issues such as, can Christians enjoy shows like Game of Thrones, is there a line between engaging culture too much, and continue to have more film for thought and look at spiritual themes in other mediums such as television and video games. So hopefully you will stay tuned and listen to the Scott Stedman Podcast.

I will be making most of my podcast over to FB Live so there can be more interactions with my audience.  Feel free to like Scott Stedman Podcast over on Facebook.