You’re either entering, in the middle of, or exiting a storm.

My good friend Bruce Vernon pastors a great church in Logansport Indiana. One day we were talking on the phone about the ups and downs of pastoring and how it’s like steering a ship. Bruce mentioned, “It seems like you are either moving into a storm, are in the middle of a storm, or just coming out of a storm.” We both laughed agreeing that sometimes you even get to enjoy calm waters with clear skies. Bruce got me thinking.

Are you heading into a storm? Maybe your going to have to confront someone and you don’t think it will go well. Maybe you’ve got a mini-rebellion brewing and you fear some people might leave your church. Or maybe it’s just that an unusually busy time is on the horizon. How does the smart pastor respond?

When heading into a storm you ask yourself certain questions. What can I anticipate? How can I best prepare? What is the worse case scenario and how can I be ready for it? How can I emotionally and spiritually hunker-down?

Are you in the middle of a storm? Maybe it feels like all hell is breaking loose. Maybe the current pressures on you feel like more than you can handle. Finances are falling, attendance is dropping, morale is walking out the door. How does the smart pastor respond?

When you’re in the middle of a storm remember the following. Don’t panic. Don’t over-react. Don’t exaggerate the magnitude of the problem. Remain calm. Increase “down-time”. Take an extra day off. You need to remove yourself from the storm in order to keep your head above water. Who is going through the storm with you that might need some reassurance from you?

Are you coming out of a storm? Maybe things seem to be calming down. Maybe you feel the worse is behind you. How does the smart pastor respond?

When coming out of a storm evaluate the storm. What can you learn from it? How might you better avoid the same storm in the future? Depending on the intensity of the storm, take extra time off to rest and recoup. Who has gone through the storm with you that might need a pastoral-touch from you?

You’re ether going into a storm, in the middle of a storm, or coming out of a storm. You handle each one differently. And if you are currently experiencing calm waters and clear skies, just float and enjoy it.

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