I share a work space with three pastors in an old Baptist Church. Below my office is a common area filled with worn couches beside a wall of stained-glass. We have few frills, aside from a coffee table devoted solely to espresso and an incense burner that occasionally smokes with frankincense.
On Monday evenings we open the sanctuary doors to the town, inviting anyone inside for warmth, prayer, and worship. On Wednesdays, multiple pastors crowd onto our worn couches and pray for one another while munching on donuts. Some Thursdays, the elders can be heard discussing issues until 9 p.m., but most mornings this building is filled with a holy silence as Evan and I flip on the lights and warm up the espresso machine.
Mid-morning, I hear one pastor strumming his guitar in the sanctuary, practicing for Sunday music, while another clacks out a sermon manuscript on his laptop. Sometimes all three talk together below my office. The other day I heard them discussing the challenge of taking “a day off.” Sundays are out. Saturdays are preparing for Sundays. Mondays are booked. And while some Tuesdays might be spent outside the office, it is to fix a leaking baptistry, prepare a funeral message, or bring communion to an elderly saint. On these days, I find myself in the church kitchen, washing out a miniature communion bottle and filling it up with fresh grape juice while Evan makes sure we have enough bread in our travel-sized kit. We drive half an hour to the nursing home only to get home in time to feed the dog and grab a coat for Bible study.
The conversation below me shifts from days of the week, to the book of Romans, to politics, and if I know them like I think I do, it will be Star Wars next. This is their rest. Talking on worn couches about what it means to live this life of ministry. To love these people. To get up early and go to bed late.
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