Cindy Nicholson, Asst. Pastor, Vineyard Christian Church of Evanston; Cindy is also on task forces and committees at the national level of the Vineyard; she responds to our pastor’s wisdom question:
If you could begin all over again, what one thing would you have focused on more?
I started leading in college 37 years ago and I have never stopped. I love this calling and I am so grateful to God that I am still pastoring all these years later. When I reflect on that time, the one thing that I would have focused on more has nothing to do with the art of pastoral ministry ? and everything to do with it! I would have more diligently protected my times set aside to sit quietly before God, scriptures in hand, and to listen, to think long, slow thoughts and to let him inform my mind, soften my heart, and open the doors of my spirit to be filled again with the Holy Spirit .
When I think of the men and women I admire who are still practicing their calling in their elder years, I notice that they are not easily drawn into making quick moves or speaking without thinking. I watch them and I can almost see them doing what Jesus did ? asking the Father, ?What are you doing?? and then only doing that. The ability to do this on the spot comes out of years of doing it when no one is watching. I?ve had good seasons of cultivating my quiet, reflective times with Jesus, and I?ve had seasons when I?ll do almost anything not to listen to him. If I had it to do over, I would be fierce about keeping that discipline in place.