I have begun this week to take on more responsibility in my church as the senior pastor is away on sabbatical for a few months.
I have been taking stock today of how I have prepared myself for the extra work.
I have no idea what most folks would do to get ready for such an event. I imagine that some would plan. Me, I can't say I planned that much. There are some plans, but they would have been made regardless of sabbatical.
Nevertheless I feel prepared. The reason is that I have made an effort to surround myself with people who will hold me accountable. I have of course my elders board that I report my activities to; they are there mostly to make sure I don't over work myself. The moderator of the church is another I am meeting with regularly. His main strength is in being able to deal with specific issues methodically. Any issues that come up will be dealt with, and dealt with biblically and thoroughly, every time. He also does nothing hastily. Whimsical he is not. But that's a good thing; he will keep me from going off chasing rabbits.
I also have meetings with a friend who asks about my spiritual and family life. That's good to have as it is one of those areas pretty well no one will ask about but affects my ministry in a big way.
Then there are three ladies in the church I speak with. They will give me a perspective that none of the others can, what with them being guys and all.
With all of these people talking to me, counseling me, listening to me, and praying for me, I feel prepared for the next four months. I have solid accountability structures. It feels like I have boundaries to work within, and that's actually comforting. It keeps me focused and I feel safe. It also helps me feel confident; I am not alone and these folks won't let me screw up.
I feel I'll come out of the next four month a better pastor than I would otherwise.
Accountability is definitely key in that.