When Laura and I were being trained through Acts 29 for planting Missio Dei Church, I remember hearing Mark Driscoll talk about “bread truck Mondays.” I chuckled out loud and stored the phrase away thinking that it would never be true of me. For Driscoll a "bread truck Monday" usually comes after a week or a Sunday that was so emotionally/spiritually difficult or draining that the day after makes a pastor wish he was anything but a pastor – he would even consider being the driver of a bread truck.
For some reason I am finding myself in a season of "bread truck Mondays." Now, I don't want you to get alarmed and freak out thinking that Paul is on his way out or Missio Dei Church is taking a nose dive. I believe that every Christian goes through discouragements in their faith and the pastor is not exempt from those experiences. Jonathan McIntosh on his blog called Rethink Mission wrote an article called "It's Monday & Your Pastor Wants to Quit" where he outlines many of the reasons why pastor particularly experience these kinds of times.
I can identify with many of the things that McIntosh shared. They all ring true to one degree or another. I would be a fool to deny it. There are many long days and weeks of frustration where I ask myself, "When will the Gospel take deep root in the life of Missio Dei Church and where I will see deep, lasting transform?" I find myself frustrated with what I would consider petty arguments, apathetic attitudes, or double standards.
So, how does a pastor deal with days, weeks, or seasons like this? This week I reread an article by Tim Keller called "The Centrality of the Gospel." In it he wrote something that was a much needed reminder:
"The main problem, then, in the Christian life is that we have not thought out the deep implications of the gospel, we have not “used” the gospel in and on all parts of our life. Richard Lovelace says that most people’s problems are just a failure to be oriented to the gospel–a failure to grasp and believe it through and through."
Here is the beautiful and redemptive part of this all. It is speaking to me just as much as it is speaking to you. As I look more deeply into the Gospel and apply it it more fully in all the parts of my life, the "bread truck Mondays" take on a different role in my walk with Christ. I find that when I get frustrated with squabbles and apathy and want out of it, I need to cling more closely to the cross "for it is the power of God for salvation" (Romans 1:16). "So the key to continual and deeper spiritual renewal and revival," according to Keller, "is the continual re-discovery of the gospel. A stage of renewal is always the discovery of a new implication or application of the gospel - seeing more of its truth. This is true for either an individual."
Bread truck Mondays become part of my spiritual journey of relying more fully on Christ and his complete work in my life. They aren't just the crappy parts that you want to discard or forget about, but they become necessary reminders for needing the Gospel in increasing and daily ways. My prayer for myself and Missio Dei Church is that we as broken but redeemed individuals and as a broken but redeemed community make the commitment to daily re-discover the power of the Gospel in our day to day lives.