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RiverOaks Presbyterian Church, Tulsa
Ricky Jones  |  Tulsa, Oklahoma
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12 Things Your Pastor Wants You to Know
MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015
Posted by: RiverOaks Presbyterian Church, Tulsa | more..
Being a pastor is one of those jobs everyone thinks he understands, but few really do. I know I had no idea what it was going to be like.

So after 20 years of experience, here are a few things some of us wish you knew.

  1. I love my job. Jesus a great boss, and I am doing the job I have wanted to do all of my life. I give up every weekend, live apart from my extended family, and often I am misunderstood or resented, but I do this job gladly.
  2. I am a bad business manager. I am inefficient and slow to act on the business side of church. I wait too long to fire people, and do a bad job of budgeting, planning and marketing. Honestly, I am bad at all of those things because I don’t want to be good at them. I did not go into the pastorate to run a business. I want to help people by telling them the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I want to walk along side people and watch their souls develop. Attending to the “business” needs of the church feels like kissing a dementor, all my joy is sucked away.
  3. My wife is not on staff. She is great, and she loves the church. But she has a life and a completely different set of gifts than I do. She would love to have you as a friend, but please do not put unfair expectations on her just because she has me as her husband. And please do not punish or ignore her just because you get angry with me from time to time.
  4. My children are not role models. They are children. They did not get to pick what their father did for a living. Please do not expect them to act differently from other children.
  5. I cannot fix your spouse, your children, or your friends. You may come to me with the problems of people you love. Sometimes those problems are really just your unwillingness to accept them for who they are. Other times your loved ones are self-destructive and need to change. Either way, I cannot help them unless they are willing to come talk to me.
  6. I cannot fix you either. I wish I could. I thought for years that I could. Finally I have realized I cannot even fix myself. I can love you. I can limp along side you toward glory. But I cannot make you happy, and I cannot fix you.
  7. I do not love everything about this church either. I do not pick the music, set the thermostat, or run the nursery. I have had to make concessions about almost everything this church does. Living in community demands concessions. I would love to hear your suggestions and have you help. But please remember, just because we reject your idea does not mean we reject you.
  8. I don’t have as many friends as you might think. Just because I find it easy, even fun to stand in front of a crowd does not mean I have a crowd of friends. Most pastors I know are terribly lonely. You would be surprised how many of us spend holidays and Saturdays alone, because honestly, who would want to go out with a preacher?
  9. I can see you from the pulpit, and yes it bugs me when you roll your eyes or play with your phone. I understand, it’s hard for me to sit still too. But I thought you might want to know I see you.
  10. It hurts my feelings when people leave. I’m sorry if that is unfair, but there it is.
  11. I love the church. She is filled with sinners, hypocrites and mean people. But she is my mother and I love her. She gave me life and hope, and I will love her until I die.
  12. I am honored to be a part of your story. Almost everyone who comes to me for counseling apologizes. You have no idea how honored I am that you would share your heart and your struggles with me. I have not earned that kind of love and trust. Thank you so much for loving me enough to need me. Thank you for letting me serve you. When you do that, you allow me to feel a little bit like Jesus. There is no better feeling.

Ricky Jones Ricky Jones

Ricky Jones has spent the past two years as a church planter and pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before that, he was a campus minister with Reformed University...


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Don't Miss Easter
Posted by: RiverOaks Presbyterian Church, Tulsa | more..
Luke 13:34 may be the saddest passage in the Bible. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,...
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5 Things Depressed People Want You to Know
Posted by: RiverOaks Presbyterian Church, Tulsa | more..
If you do not struggle with depression yourself, you almost certainly love someone who does. Talking with depressed people can be tricky. Sometimes we say things to help that only serve to make our friend feel worse. After making that mistake a...
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Believe What You Have Become
Posted by: RiverOaks Presbyterian Church, Tulsa | more..
Saturday Night Live had a skit called "Daily Affirmations" where a character named Stuart Smalley would stare into a mirror and say: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and, doggone it, people like me!" SNL was making fun of the idea that positive...
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Is Marriage a State or Church Issue? And Other Questions
Posted by: RiverOaks Presbyterian Church, Tulsa | more..
Questions I address in this post: Is marriage a state or church issue? How do I love my gay brother? How do I uphold biblical marriage while loving homosexuals? Should we treat homosexuality differently than other sins? Is John 8 apocryphal? What...
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Never Stop Asking Too Much
MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013
Posted by: RiverOaks Presbyterian Church, Tulsa | more..
I live much of my life disappointed. My friends tell me I have unrealistic expectations. It is true, unfortunately I often find myself saying, “I guess it was too much to hope for…” I guess seeing this alcoholic reform before...
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Lent is Good for Me
Posted by: RiverOaks Presbyterian Church, Tulsa | more..
Lent may be the most Christian of the holidays. No stores have big Lent sales; no one pushes Lent decorations, tries to sell Lent books or hands out Lent jewelry. Lent does not lend itself to commercialism or emotion. Instead it calls for a long,...
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Dear Lance Armstrong,
Posted by: RiverOaks Presbyterian Church, Tulsa | more..
Dear Lance, Wow, what a terrible few years you must have had. You were running from the truth, running from your friends, and fighting against yourself. You must have felt very alone, angry and remorseful. The worst may finally be over. You will...
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Sin: Words You Thought You Understood
Posted by: RiverOaks Presbyterian Church, Tulsa | more..
Please learn the true meaning of sin. Sin lives within every heart. It bends the way we think, feel and act. In the beginning, sin crept into our world and let in his friend death, and to this day sin leads humans by the hand into the arms of...
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Words you thought you knew: Law
Posted by: RiverOaks Presbyterian Church, Tulsa | more..
As we begin our study of Romans together, we need some vocabulary lessons. Some words we have used since childhood have very special meanings in this letter. Unless we understand those words we will miss the meaning of the entire letter. In modern...
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