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What comes first? What is most important?

These two questions, though quite similar, might have different answers. How do you determine what are yours? What’s most important to you? What do you wish commanded most of your time? Energy? Write down your answers. – Then ask yourself how these answers measure up to reality. What’s the first step you can take to align what you wish were true with what is true?

An exercise like the one above is a good practice in our work lives, in our whole lives (work plus everything else) – and in our church life. If we ignore such questions, we drift along aimlessly. People do that; churches do that. We let all the little, less important things command our attention. We spend our energy on the immediate crisis and ignore what is important but not urgent. Everybody does this. Because it’s easier. Also because to say Yes to one thing is to say No to another, and that’s hard.

But not setting and living into our priorities doesn’t get us where we want to go. So, what are the steps you can take to align what your wish were true with what is currently true? Which step will you take first? When will you take this step? How will you hold yourself accountable?

Here are my priorities for my time at St. Stephen’s:

1. Plan and lead public worship.

2. Provide pastoral care in times of sickness, death, and crisis.

3. Following up with visitors.

4. Provide leadership appropriate for an interim.

5. Engage the community.


Pastor Mark Walters


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