something about doing "pastor" things with other pastors always weirds me out...to satisfy my own emo itch, i'll confess why:
* i don't fit the mold, and i'm increasingly surprised by HOW MUCH i don't fit the mold...i think either everyone else is getting moldier or i need to audition for a role in the breakfast club made-for-tv-remake
* i don't like measuring what everyone else likes to measure...and i want to be clear that their measurements aren't bad, just that i feel strange and ugly when i adopt their "wins and successes" and the standard...i won't elaborate, because i don't want to throw anyone under the bus, but i proritize friendship, transformation, and imagination way over and above the more common stuff
* that said, it really is hard not to get into a pissing contest and if/when that occurs i feel more like the urinal than the runner-up
* getting around other pastors always reminds me of how badly i want church to be different, and how badly i want churches to be effective in making disciples and healing the world...but by and large, the big We sucks in both categories and i am deeply bothered and frustrated and angered by the suck and want so much for things to be different
* getting around other pastors also reminds me of how different i want things to be at the winds...let me be clear: i love westwinds, but our efforts to push ourselves and our people into something truer and more beautiful are often frustrated by time constraints and a lack of sustainable leadership. it's the greatest church in the world, but my hunger for us to be increasingly shaped into something better is not easily sated
* finally, these trips are tough because i'm reminded of how lonely ministry really is...i don't miss being part of a denomination - too many rules, too few relationships - but i sure miss that feeling of not being in this thing alone...i miss knowing for certain that if i threw in the towel someone outside of my church and my family would care. fortunately for me this collection of guys at leadership network were super-cool and i think we'll make some lasting chums.