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The Extraordinary and the Mundane

Memorial Drive is different from every other church that I’ve ever attended. I grew up in a small church in Ballentine, South Carolina with an average attendance of about 200 people. Last summer, I did an internship at First United Methodist Church in Cherryville, North Carolina. Cherryville is a small town of about 6,000 people in rural North Carolina and the church had an average of about 150 people per week. It’s safe to say that these environments are just a little bit different from my new digs at Memorial Drive in Houston.
In the weeks leading up to my move to Houston, I started to feel equally excited and nervous about moving to Houston and working at Memorial Drive. I was excited to work at a church with such a large staff and with so many resources to minister to its community. I remember looking at the weekly calendar on the Memorial Drive website and having my jaw drop to the floor. I couldn’t believe all of the events that were scheduled for each day of the week! It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before.
All of that being said, this also intimidated me I started to question if I was qualified enough to work at such a large church. I wondered if my two years of seminary would be enough to put me in a position to succeed at Memorial Drive. I envisioned myself attending meetings and having no idea what was going on. I started to think about how intense it may be to preach in front of such a large congregation. It’s safe to say that for every two things that made me excited about working at Memorial Drive, there was one thing that gave me a little bit of anxiety.
Sara and I attended worship incognito for the first time on Sunday, May 21st. We went to both campuses and were blown away. From the minute we walked through the door, we were greeted with a smile and a welcome from the greeters. We marveled at both worship venues. We were amazed by how the worship space at The Journey had grown since we had seen it in March. The sanctuary’s beauty took our breath away, as did the acoustics within it. In short, our first worship experiences at Memorial Drive were incredible.
We left worship with the impression that this summer would be extremely fast-paced. I envisioned that working at Memorial Drive would mean that I was always hustling around the building, moving from one task on to the next. I was confident that this is how my first week would be…which is why I was a little caught off guard when I heard that I would be attending four meetings in the conference room on my first day here. When we were talking about this in our pastors meeting on Monday morning, John told me that he wanted me to experience both the extraordinary and the mundane of working within a church.
These two words have continued to stick with me throughout my first week at Memorial Drive. As I reflected on the extraordinary and the mundane of life as a future pastor, I stumbled back upon Jesus’ commissioning of the disciples at the end of Matthew. Jesus commissions his disciples to go and make disciples throughout the world and he concludes by saying, “remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus didn’t tell His disciples that he’d only be in there in the times of the extraordinary. He didn’t tell them that He’d only be present whenever they were engaging in some type of worship or exciting activity. He specifically tells them that He’d be with them “always, to the end of the age.” He indicated to them that He’d be there in both the extraordinary and the mundane.
Throughout my first week at Memorial Drive, I’ve learned that it’s important to look for ways that God is working around me and through me in both the extraordinary and the mundane. I’ve seen God working throughout worship services, but I’ve also seen God working throughout the multiple meetings I attended this week. I’ve seen God working through Wednesday night’s “Celebrate!,” but I’ve also seen God at work when buying lumber from Home Depot and decorative flair from Hobby Lobby. I’ve seen God working in tasks I’ve looked forward to completing at MDUMC and I’ve seen God working in tasks I had no idea I’d be doing before I arrived. I’m looking forward to seeing how the extraordinary and the mundane continue to teach me about life as a future pastor.

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