Thursday, July 10, 2008


A lot of people have been asking how I like my new position at University. I love it. But, if I were asked to describe it in one word, the word would be "intense."

University is a pretty good jump in size from the previous two appointments, the last one having a membership of about 1000 and the one before that around 1300. In any place other than Texas those would be considered large churches but they are about 1/5 the size of University. What makes University so much more intense is not just that the size means more people and programs. What makes it intense for me is how to work changes at this size. Working in a very large church like University, when it is well managed as University is, allows for a lot really well qualified staff and lay leadership. In a thousand member church, even though there are many more resources than in a small church, the pastor is still required to wear a huge number of hats. At Grace in Corpus and even at Oak Hill in Austin, I found myself answering the phone, fixing a computer, even investigating where a water leak was coming from. At University, there are people far more qualified than me to do everything else. I even have dedicated staff (including the incredible Laura and Elizabeth) to assist me directly in accomplishing what I need to do. Now, if you are a pastor at a small church, this might begin to sound really good. Here is the intense side: Because everyone around me is taking care of everything else, I can focus solely on what I am called to do in my position here. And there is a reason for that. With 5600 members and an amazing number of programs and systems, someone needs to be doing what I am doing all the time at a pretty intense level of function. Where this gets intense is that this all means that I work on creative, administrative and decision making functions for huge chunks of time without many mundane interruptions to give my brain a rest. The sheer volume of creative writing, problem solving and decision making is, well, intense. Often one day here feels like a whole week in my past appointments. Which is all pretty exhausting, but totally cool!

So back to the question, how do I like my new position at University? I love it and there is a lot to love.


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