When I launched Digital Congregations early this summer, I didn't know what to expect. Having spent the bulk of my career in the for-profit world, I wondered what the response would be. Would churches be hesitant? Would they keep me at arms length? Would they reject me?
If these seem like personal questions, that's because they are. Owning a business, especially a business that you approach as ministry, is incredibly personal and I didn't know if I could stomach rejection from the church.
I shouldn't have worried. I should have trusted in the true and honest desire of those leading and working with churches to remain open, to connect, and to form community...even with me.
In my first few months of business, pastors have graciously taken my calls. They have answered my questions and been willing to engage with me. They have expressed gratitude and appreciation with abundance and encouraged me with eagerness.
Introverted and typically quiet, I am not one to look forward to phone and Zoom calls and yet I have come to thoroughly enjoy the time I spend with pastors and ministers throughout the week. Why? Because they always take the time to "see" me, to acknowledge me, to move far beyond transaction. They reach for relationship. What a joy and honor to do what I do!
There are reasons to be concerned for the Church and Her future, but I have more hope than ever before. I have hope because I am getting to know Her stewards. And if they treat others with the same openness of heart and spirit, the same kindness and good will as they have treated me, then the Church is in good hands.
On this Pastor Appreciation Day, know this: I may not attend your virtual Sunday morning service and I may never have stepped foot in your church, but you have ministered to me. You have shown me love in action. And for that, I must express to you this day and every day just how very grateful I am...to you and for you.