Day 4 for Barclay Press

Wednesday is my day of hope; my day of perspective. It comes because of community.

Each Wednesday morning, I meet with two other pastors in town who have become life-giving friends. One, Shaun McNay, has been a mentor for years. But the other, Tim Clark, is someone whose friendship has developed almost entirely from our meetings together. Their willingness to be vulnerable with what God is doing in their lives, both good and hard, has made a huge difference in my life. This week’s meeting had us reminding each other that even though we have those voices inside our heads that tell us we can’t be the pastors we ought to be, God has called each of us to this role and it is God who will equip.

Then comes Wednesday afternoon, when Corey Beals and I normally take an hour and a half to drive out to Tilikum (a day camp near Newberg), and walk and talk in the midst of God’s creation. What was significant this week is that I really didn’t have time to meet. I came close to canceling the meeting several times, but instead met with Corey for 30 minutes in town. I told him there’s something important about following through on the commitment to meet, even if it has to be less than our “perfect” plan.

If I didn’t have these scheduled times of accountability and encouragement, I wouldn’t hear Jesus’ voice as clearly as I do with these meetings. These friends are all different from me, and they teach me…mostly by the simple example of living their lives. I need community.

(Oh, and the other great part of the day was driving home after teaching a class at church and hearing that Duke beat North Carolina 71-70 in Men’s college basketball. Since my brother did his Master’s degree at Duke Divinity school, I’ve become incredibly impressed with how Coach K leads his team, year after year. I’d recommend “Leading with the Heart (Donald T. Phillips, Mike Krzyzewski) as a good read. And, it helps me look forward to March Madness. I host a “just for fun” pool to pick the winner each year. If you’d like an invite when the time comes, send me an e-mail: gregg@newbergfriendschurch.org)

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