Getting to know the pastor of a church is a rather large challenge. One idea is to prepare something of a biography. Even that can be daunting.
What life events should be included? Skills and gifts or struggles and learnings? Accomplishments or failings?
Should we tell you Rev. Jonathan was an Eagle Scout, learned how to sail on the Mississippi River, and was certified as a Lifeguard through the Red Cross? Or should we tell you that every summer as a boy he seemed to break, bang, scrape or seriously cut something, often his head, by testing the limits of gravity?
Should we tell you Rev. Jonathan grew up in small towns of rural Iowa and worked jobs walking beans, bucking hay bales, delivering newspapers and stocking shelves at a pharmacy? Or should we tell you he was on a Little League Baseball team that did not win a single game?
Should we tell you Rev. Jonathan is adept at pastoral care through loss, recovery and grief? Or should we tell you he does not take bad medical news well and has been known to cuss in emergency rooms and hospice hallways?
Should we tell you Rev. Jonathan has been married to Sue for 35 years and they have four grown kids? Or should we tell you that having grown up in the parsonage he knows firsthand the stress placed on the pastor’s family amid fishbowl expectations?
Should we tell you Rev. Jonathan has an immense sense of humor and an established history of leading churches through changes? Or should we share he has survived burnout and regards a balanced life as a spiritual discipline.
Perhaps we should tell you Rev. Jonathan is a fan of the Arizona Wildcat Football team, mostly because unlike other college teams, it is a low stress event. There is no wondering if it will be a winning season. There is no worry about bowl games. Also the marching band plays music by The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
We absolutely should tell you he is very clear where the focus of the church needs to be and is entirely uncomfortable with it being on him. He cautions strongly against worshipping the wrong J.
Perhaps it is best to begin at the basics. Rev. Jonathan prefers to be called Jonathan. And you can get to know one another from there.