April Yamasaki is lead pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Her most recent book is Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal (Herald, 2013). Her blog is part of the CCblogs network.
I serve my congregation as lead pastor, having grown from not at all thinking about pastoral ministry to being called and curious, and now having been in ministry for over 20 years. From my initial call to ordination to increasing responsibility with other staff, I feel as if my church has been one step ahead of me, more ready for me to take on leadership than I envisioned for myself.
At a church leaders' retreat last month, we talked about having an I don't do list as a way of making time for sacred pauses in life and ministry. The things we don't do make it possible to do some other things. The things we say No to allow us to say Yes to other things.
So one pastor said, "I don’t answer the phone at home after 8 p.m."
A few months ago, a Twitter friend deleted her account in favour of Facebook, then signed on again because she missed the interaction with her Twitter friends. Another friend signed up for Twitter, but soon dropped out because it seemed too noisy and busy, and the short form was just too short for what he wanted to say.
While others have been making—and maybe even already breaking—new year’s resolutions or choosing their one word for 2014, I’m still holding onto Christmas. After all, it was only this Sunday at church that our magi finally arrived at the nativity scene in front of the sanctuary.