For the past two days, I’ve been attending the convention for the Northern Wisconsin District of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. To do that, I drove about an hour to Appleton to the campus of Fox Valley Lutheran High School. The school has a great campus that works well for a convention like this.
Some people might wonder why pastors (and in the case of this convention, teachers and other church members) would take two days aside to meet together. A lot of it has to do with the official reasons: presentations on different topics and reports from different areas of ministry in our church body, as well as doing “official” business and recommendations on the best ways to do our work together.
But I think the bigger value in events like these comes in a different way for me. Being a pastor can sometimes feel like a solitary effort, even for pastors like me at a church with more than one pastor on staff. Much of the work has to be done by oneself: writing and preparing for different sermons, meetings, and classes. Even when I make visits with people at their home or even at their hospital bed, I’m usually making these visits on my own.
And that’s fine. I like working on my own, and I believe I do best work that way.. But even when I work on my own, it’s nice to have a reminder that I don’t do my work alone. There are other pastors out there, doing these things, too. There are other congregations out there, even here in my section of Northern Wisconsin, that are going about this same work. There are different ministries and groups that exist for the sole purpose of aiding this work being done.
That’s why it’s worth my time, even if it’s not always convenient. It’s worth it for me to be built up in the importance of what I’m doing and reminded yet again that I don’t do it alone.