Kraig Lowell Pullam

My thoughts. My reflections. My journey…. On pastoring, preaching, leading & learning.

Archive for the tag “flock”

Sunday Reflections

God be praised for another Lord’s Day, on Mother’s Day!

While it has been quite some time since I’ve last blogged, my schedule has moved at a quicker pace.  When first arriving at Shiloh in September of 2016, I would tell people that I expected things to slow down and get back to ‘normal’ within the coming year.  2016 has come and gone; and so has 2017 and 2018.  Now I have come to accept the rapid speed as my new normal.

I love it!

As a consequence, my prayer life has intensified.  My devotional formation has become the staple of my entire bent toward sanity.  With a growing congregation, growing sons and a 19+ year marriage….how I thank God for this journey!

Our Sunday began with continental breakfast with Mom’s!  A couple of our members, Roberta Sherman and Sharon Jones, led the way in making this fellowship a success.  They went over and above in showing love and appreciation to all of our mothers.

The 2nd Sunday of each month is our Children and Youth Sunday.  The children, youth and young adults led us in worship; and also did a special presentation for the mother’s present.

I made an attempt to share from Deuteronomy 32:11-12 and entitled the message “Parenting Like an Eagle”.  I am one of the preachers who would consider Mother’s Day one of the hardest days to preach.  Since I’ve been pastoring, I have always looked back on Mother’s Day, wishing I had done a better job with the sermon.  While I had difficulty in the delivery of the sermon, I do think I communicated the truth contained in the text; and believe God’s people were ultimately helped.  I am grateful for the family who came forward to become a part of our congregation.  The Lord is about to expand Shiloh in ways we have never seen.  I am humbled and honored that He would allow me to be in the midst of what He is about to do!

It is an honor to lead God’s people; and it is an even greater honor to Pastor and Shepherd a people I love, and enjoy being around.  I am well aware that the Lord did not have to lead me to a place such as Shiloh.  I don’t take it for granted; and I pray that God continues to sustain us, expand us and keep us together.

I am looking forward to taking a break within the next few weeks.  Praying for all students who are closing out this school year; and for teachers who are preparing for a short time of rest and renewal.

The Makings of Ministry in Pastoral Life

Quite a few years ago, I was riding in the car with my parents.  I wanted them to hear a new r&b song from a ‘hot new artist’ by the name of Musiq Soulchild.  This song, entitled ‘Just Friends’ echoed a subtle sentiment of admiration of a guy’s feelings for a young lady.  Needless to say, my Dad was unimpressed and unincumbered by my interest.  Later my father, who is a music lover at heart, pulled out an old album of Curtis Mayfield and began to play for me ‘The Makings of You.’  The song began to describe every ideal of the perfect life at it’s finest, surrounded by aesthetic beauty, roses, well-behaved children and the like….and then he tells the object of his affection, ‘These are the makings of you…!’  Admittedly, I was completely floored and this began my quest of further learning the art of ‘real music.’

As I reflect, I cannot help but wonder – what are the makings of ministry?  Further, I wonder – what are the makings of ministry in Pastoral life?  The ministry of the Pastor is more than meets the eye.  Jeremiah 3:15 says, “And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”  God says that He will do the giving while shepherds are given the responsibility of doing the feeding.  When one looks at the dynamics of a culinary artist, many of the details of their works is behind closed doors.  We may often enjoy the products of their due diligence; but we often fail to see their labor, toil and endeavors.

As stated before, we celebrated 3 years together as Pastor and People at the Mt. Salem Church.  To date, this has been the greatest outer expression of love from a congregation I’ve felt as a Pastor.  That being said, we had a few challenges with initial renovations of walls in our sanctuary.  In the past 48 hours, I have privately called these walls, ‘The walls of Jericho!’.  On the day prior to my anniversary celebration, I went through the ordeal of how to work around these incompletions and, in my ‘perfectionist’ complex, I thought I was going to fly to the moon.  In addition, our toilets were not flushing at the church.  At some point, I simply prayed, gave it over to God and dealt with what I could.  Amid my own private realities (one of which was picking up my ‘anniversary suit’ from my suit guy of over 10 years and for the first time I didn’t try on the suit-since they always get it right-it was wrong….pants were 2 inches TOO LONG!  Not good…)  I got through it.   I went to bed Saturday night at peace and confident in God’s faithfulness.

Needless to say God blessed the entire day!!!  Amid all of this….I still found myself dealing with the usual joys and sorrows, twists and turns of pastoral life.  In the midst of great celebration, I had to contemplate how to deal with the issues of the ‘Jericho Walls.’  In the midst of great celebration, I asked one of my beloved members how they were doing and how a recent doctor’s appointment had gone; only for that member to inform me that cancer was in her blood; and while her doctor is saying it is ‘non-aggresive’, it can turn ‘aggressive’ at any moment.  In the midst of this, I closed out the day hearing from one of my young members (who was instrumental in launching our praise team and re-shaping certain aspects of our worship service) he will be transferred to Fort Worth, Texas later next month with his job.

These are the makings of the ministry of pastoral life.  This happens every week; and often every day of the week.  Having the heart of a Pastor is essential in leading God’s people.  If we fail to love God’s people, we will fail to feed them.  And there is nothing more detrimental than a starved, malnourished, neglected and abused flock.  If you are a Pastor and reading this, I pray for you daily.  If you are a layperson, PLEASE, pray for your Pastor.  Your Pastor may not be perfect; and you may disagree with some of the moves made in the ministry or vision of Christ’s church; but please pray for your Pastor.  My experiences of this past weekend, for me, simply point to the reality that I am where God wants me; and where He has planted me.  I’m loving this ride; and looking forward to what God will continue to unfold along the way.  The BEST is truly YET to come!!!

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