One of the new roles I'm experiencing as a solo pastor is that all the sudden I am finding that I'm the CPS, that is, Chief Problem Solver. Whereas in the past, as an Associate, I could just take all the problems in and dump them on my buddy and former Senior Pastor, Phil, I have now inherited the job in my new setting.
For example, two weeks after I arrived here, my worship accompaniest took a job somewhere else that could give her more hours. It seemed like God's leading in her life. Good for her. For a month and a half we didn't have a regular accompaniest. We had to find someone to do it every week! I even did it with my guitar one week. A couple of weeks ago, the world's greatest worship accompaniest showed up in our office to talk to me about taking the job. I was blown away. He starts in October! I can't wait. God is good. However, yesterday I found out that our nursery attendant, who has been giving up being in worship for four years, is ready for a change. She misses being in worship! I can understand that. It sounds like God's leading in her life. So the cycle continues...
This is my new life, I guess! Solo pastor and Chief Problem Solver. This morning I was praying and asking God about how to put to death the anxiety and stress that goes with my new role as CPS. Then the thought came to my mind that the problems are the purifiers. The new barrage of problems will force me to take God's promises more seriously and to take my prayer life more seriously. This is actually not a challenge to my Christian peace, but the very training course that will perfect it.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:2-4