The music pastor of the church I go to has been out of town for a couple of weeks, and so, a couple of weeks back, he asked me to lead worship. I said that that would be fine.
Unrelatedly, last Sunday, a letter was read at the end of the service which included the head pastor's resignation.
Many people were surprised at this, myself included. Pastor Mark is a thoroughly reasonable, level-headed guy. While it seems out of character for him to resign, he had explained a few weeks ago that he was dealilng with some personal issues with his extended family, and so I can only assume that these were weighing on him heavily.
While I do not know of all the ins and outs of whatever prompted him to make that decision, yesterday morning I caught a glimpse of what I believe may have been part of it.
As I was up in front of the congregation leading the singing and playing the guitar, I couldn't help but feel like a phony. Now, while I have my various issues that I deal with, it's not like there's some big "sin" monkey on my back, hurling feces at everyone.
I felt that way because, though I may have been the most qualified musically, I can't believe that I was the most qualified spiritually.
And for a religion that, ideally, firmly believes the idea that it's not the outside of the cup that makes it clean, but the inside, I couldn't help but feel that I was doing a disservice to my fellow Christians, to the church, and to God.
What's my point? I can only imagine that for someone who is in charge of providing spiritual guidance to people every week that this feeling that I just had a taste of could have proved overwhelming.
Our pastor is not inadequate or fake or phony or any other synonym you want to throw in there. He has proved himself to be steadfast and strong both spiritually and personally, and I wish that he would continue being the pastor. All I am saying is that self-doubt can happen to anyone, and I think it affects those in ministry service more heatedly than it affects other people.
I don't know the real reason why the pastor left, and, frankly, I'm not really sure that I want to know. However, I do feel for him as what he must be going through is so intense that I can barely fathom it.
Good luck, Pastor Mark. You're in my prayers.
5 hours ago