Chaplain George Morris phoned today. We talked. He was sitting in his mother's yard on the Eastern Shore of Virginia under 50 year-old Maple trees and marveling about the beauty of the scene and shade of the trees.
I shared with him that being the son of a carpenter I could imagine my Stihl chainsaw cutting those maple trees for the lumber mill. He did not think it would be a good idea for me to cut his mother's trees.
From my earliest days I have loved the smell of lumber. On mission trips I have had guides stop and allow me to wander into primitive areas to where trees were being sawn into lumber. Building is in my blood. My dad and his six brothers were all builders. My three brothers are were builders.
Our construction program is concrete and steel. No smell of sawdust. Yet my love for construction persists. Want to be in the big machines, run the drills and saws and help bring together a building to glorify Our God.
But in my dress clothes and often with a necktie and sport coat I serve best by taking pictures, giving workers a bottle of water, sometimes buying pizza for them and sitting with them during lunch time. I try with each group of workers to give them a tour of the sanctuary and invite them to church.
They linger in the sanctuary looking with wonder and awe! Seems like after their tour they are more excited about their work.
Pouring concrete, welding steel, installing electricity and plumbing are professional trades that require expertise. The Pastoral Staff is engaged in the people business.
Today we reviewed plans for this Sunday and coming weeks. We avoid "busy" with the intention of planning events that are meaningful ministry. Always there is the question whether we are STRETCHING with anticipation of new faces and families joining us in our happy journey.
Pastoral staff is a ministry to the Body with the committed purpose to carry out the vision of the leadership. Elders and other leaders engage in healthy dialogue intended to shape a powerful future.
At the present time we have a Leadership Forum that is meeting for 8 weeks to format a 6-month development of leadership skills. Smaller groups will be designing strategies for particular projects.
The objective is for individuals to improve personal skills and for groups to prepare for the future of Covenant after the building program.
Allow me to be summary and to the point: I love building buildings, but building people is far more enjoyable and rewarding! Buildings will perish. Souls redeemed to God will be part of our family for eternity!
P.S. Please mark your calendar for Sunday, August 12. Dr. Tim Hill, General Overseer of the Church of God, will be our special guest as we feature vintage Covenant and celebrate our 66th Anniversary of the congregation!