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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

On the Road Again...

My job these days is to go to places that don't have a pastor, and guide those congregations through the transition of calling a new pastor. It's temporary each time, and I am not allowed to be the regularly called pastor at any place where I am the interim. As the crew where I am at now (First Lutheran Church, Blair, NE) has begun the process to call a new pastor, my time here is coming to an end.

In some ways I am fortunate to know the end is approaching. I imagine this is what people who are retiring may experience. (I don't get to retire. I just pack my three boxes of stuff, leave a place on Sunday, and start somewhere new on Monday.) This is my last "whatever...," I probably won't see you again; all the stuff that comes with the job of pastor at a place where I won't be in a few months.

It happened last night, as a quarterly meeting was scheduling its next meeting date. There's a better than 75% chance I won't be here for it. I didn't even put it down in my phone at first; although, on second thought I never know.But I will soon be saying goodbye to this group of Christians and moving on to say hello to another group of Christians. And in between there is the road...

The road I travel is not one for those who need stability. The road I travel is not for those who need to sleep in their own bed every night. The road I travel is for the curious. The traveler. The one who always wants to see what's around the next bend. I won't stop until I'm dead, I assume.

Once my brother and I were drinking and visiting all his fellow bartenders in various dives throughout Minneapolis. After about our fifth stop I said to him, "you sure know a lot of dive bars in this town." He laughed, and then said, "Yes. But I know the only in this town. You know them in about ten towns." He's right. So I decided to make a list. Here are the town I can remember where I have been to at least 5 different dive bars. These are bars that may serve food but probably don't. This does not includes places like Applebees or other chains. Most of these bars are named for the owners or their ex-wives. Let's see if I can get to ten towns:
1. Minneapolis, MN
2. St. Paul, MN (my hometown)
3. St. Peter, MN (my college town)
4. Chicago, IL
5. Los Angeles, CA
6. Bismarck, ND
7. Austin, TX
8. Memphis, TN
9. New Orleans, LA
10. Tampa, FL

Made it. And I got a few more--like Bozeman, MT, wonderful scenery for dive bars. But as my brother noted, you don't get to that many places without going on the road. So I take my friends (Jesus and the Holy Spirit), and drive to wherever the next congregation is. Here's my theme song.

May your tables be full and all your conversations be true.

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