For this season of life, I am not the pastor of a particular church.
I'm staying busy as a Preacher on the Plaza, traveling with Kevin as part of his work, writing a lot, and short-term projects/ supply preaching in churches. I would love the opportunity for another church post but I also know there's a season for everything.
So then, then what about Sundays right now? What do we do? Where do we go when I don't have a gig?
Seems simple enough, right? Just go to church . . .
But being a Rev in the pews is no easy thing. You don't just go to any church.
Here's a secret for you: pastor types can be a real pain in the ass.
We have opinions about music choices. We have opinions about service structure. We have opinions about how the prayer time is handled. Opinions about everything really
It can be hard for us to just go to church (especially if we want to be leading).
I can also be hard for pastors to receive other pastors (for someone with so much expertise in the pews can be so intimidating!)
But, pastors need other pastors. Pastors need church. Pastors need to hear soul-stirring sermons that they don't preach. We can't let our critiques keep us from a spiritual home.
To all of this, I declare that every pastor needs a Jeanie in their life.
Or more technically, a Rev. Dr. Jean Robinson-Casey. Her friends call her Jeanie and she's my pastor.
I love her and her amazing husband, Clyde (a Rev. as well) for many reasons. But here's one: Jeanie has welcomed me lovingly into the community life of her congregation, Martin Luther King, Jr. Christian Church in Reston, VA.
I love the joy of the worshiping life of this community and their growing concern for acts of social justice and racial reconciliation in the larger community. I love that we get our hug quota and then some during the greeting portion of the service. And I always feel like they miss us if we've been gone awhile.
But most of all, when I attend, there's no weirdness that I'm a pastor. I seek to respect the boundaries of course, what I am and am not, but regardless there's space for me to be me.
I don't cease to be Rev. Hagan when I am there. I'm asked to preach from time to time. I pray publicly and anoint the sick when asked. I even led the efforts to re-design the church website last year.
Instead of all of this, I could easily go to a congregation where I sit silently on the back pew and do nothing other than come in and leave as fast as I arrive. And tell Kevin what was wrong with the sermon on the way home. . .
But when the time came to join a church in 2013 in our area, I knew there was no other place for us than MLK Christian.
And so much of this decision had to do with Rev. Jeanie.
Under her leadership, I feel like I belong. I'm challenged to serve as I watch and pray for what comes next. And I know if my life faces a major crisis people from this church will show up for us.
This is exactly what church should be . . . even for pastors. Actually especially for pastors.
Thank you, Rev. Jeanie for being my pastor! I'm one of your biggest fans.