The past two weeks have been a wonderful break from my normal routines. One was a vacation week, but several friends argued it wasn’t a vacation because I was working at the church nearly every day. However, I could make a compelling argument that both weeks were vacation, at least, a vacation from my norm. Every day I put on Carhartts and an old T-shirt and got sweaty, dirty and tired. It was exhausting and fantastic.
I realize I’m not a normal pastor (understatement). While my calling to ministry is clear, I also inherited a lot of contractor from my dad. Maybe I’m a pastractor. But this secondary calling drives me to highlight the beauty of hard work for the sake of love. Examples and opportunities are everywhere.
I see this joy every time we gather at the church for a work day. The projects are usually quite mundane; pulling weeds, washing windows, spackling gouges in the wall. But somehow everyone goes home feeling encouraged. Why? We love each other, we love the Lord and it’s fun teaming up to take care of one of his houses. If you want to be on this team just let me know and I’ll put you on the email list.
Other times love works at someone’s house. Almost 20 people gathered last week to tear off the old leaky roof for one of our families, and half a dozen then worked through the heat wave to get the new shingles installed. We were dripping, sweaty messes, and it was great! A satisfying expression of love. One brother remarked, “As hard as this is, it is still far easier than talking to someone I don’t know during the greeting time at church.” Physical labor was his idea of great ministry, and I couldn’t agree more. We have seniors and single moms who regularly need help with physical tasks. Wish you could help with this kind of thing? Let me know and I’ll keep you in mind when I hear of needs.
I will close by mentioning a very unique work of love. The church bell from our old building has been sitting silent in a garage for the last 10 years. But over the last couple months we have been building a place for it so it can fulfill its purpose once more. The work is nearly done and we will have a brief dedication ceremony right after church this Saturday night. Everyone is welcome to come share the joy.