This week's M11 Conference provided a fresh wind of life to my soul, and no doubt thousands of others who attended. Worship services, seminars and visits with friends were such a great winter pick-up.
A gratifying aspect for me was all of the comments about my book, The Runaway Pastor. I received simple compliments, a few raving thank-you's including one tear-filled embrace of gratefulness. The book has become a tool for providing help in pastors' marriages.
Protagonist and Author: Two Different People
As a new author, it is surprising how many people struggle separating the writer of the novel from the protagonist of the story. People seem to wonder if I had run away from ministry or my wife? It was nice to report both a ministry and a marriage that I love. A ministry and marriage for which I am so grateful.
It is always sad to hear some of the stories you hear at these events. Pastors who have quit, or who have been "sent away" from ministry, are more and more common. You meet servants who are wounded and hoping to be filled up for "one more go at it."
I guess having written such a story as The Runaway Pastor puts me in a position to hear stories--stories of depression or of wanting to quit, as well as stories of those who can't believe anyone would struggle in those ways. I felt like a magnet to such conversations this week.
Of all things, I'm most grateful to hear again and again those testimonies saying the book has been a help for pastors' marriages. That alone is worth it all.
Tomorrow: Why I need to Write a Sequel