Just the other day I was driving back into town when I notice a beautiful bald eagle sitting in a tree not far off the highway. Birds always catch my attention, not the little ones by the bigger ones like eagles and owls and hawks.
Where we live eagles are rare, even owls aren’t spotted that often, but there are many hawks. My wife will tell you that I seem to notice everyone. It’s a rare day in the summer that I don’t see at least one or two when I’m driving somewhere. I love to watch eagles in flight, but what I’ve notice about hawks is this: Hawks very often sit on fence posts along the highway.
Obviously there is only room for one hawk on each post, but it’s rare to even see a second one anywhere nearby. The world is going by on the highway. Farmers might be working their fields in their big John Deere tractors. Other birds may be flying around in search of dinner, but the hawk sits there – all alone.
Sometimes I feel like that hawk. I’m in a community where it seems everybody knows who I am even if I don’t have a clue who they are or what their name is. People in my church are happy to say hi on Sunday. I mingle with people at community and church gatherings. I am involved in ministries and committees with different people. The world is going by, but I feel like I’m all alone. I’m not necessarily referring to a lack of friends but more the sense of “being alone in ministry”! Many people know me by my title – Pastor. Many think of me in that role. People are friendly and accepting. But as a solo pastor, much of what I do is on my own. Sometimes it feels like I’m sitting on a fence-post watching the world go by, on my own.
This isn’t to say that I never have good times with other people. I do. But when it comes to giving leadership, it all comes back to me. I have a great elders board, yet I am responsible to give direction.
Being a solo pastor is not a bad thing, but at times I do feel like that hawk. Just sitting there. Thinking. Watching. Waiting.
I’d like to soar like an eagle and reach great heights as a leader, but often I feel I can identify with the hawk sitting on his fence post – alone.