A Mistake I Made While Pastoring In Baraboo
I spent several years, (almost 16) as a Pastor in Baraboo, Wisconsin and over those years I made mistakes and I have tried to learn from them.In today’s blog I am going to share one of theose mistakes and explain why it is important to be careful what you say and do because it could hurt others.
In my early years at Baraboo we took the bulletin to a office supply store to be printed each week.It wasn’t like the ones we have now days like Staples, Office Depot, or Office Max.It was a small run of the mill office supply store.At the time we didn’t have a copier and after several months there I decided I was going to take over the responsibility of getting the bulletin printed as it would make it easier for me to get my announcements and other things I wanted in the bulletin.So on Friday or Saturday I would take the bulletin up to the office supply store.I would have them print me 50-75 bulletins for Sunday’s service.
On this particular week I was in a bit of a hurry because I had several other errands to run so I just packed my car and ran into the office supply store.After I got finished I just hopped into my car and took off.
Later that day I got several weird phone calls and I was concerned that something was going on that I needed to know about because of these calls.I decided to call someone in the Church who I knew would be upfront with me if they knew what was going on.
I called him and asked him if he would meet me at the Church and he did.I sat down with him and asked him if he had heard any strange stories that day.He told me that he did in fact hear a story but he didn’t believe it.I asked him if he could share it with me.
He told me that someone had seen my car at a local bar and someone said I was in the bar drinking.He said he didn’t believe it because he knew me better than anyone else in the Church.
I was shocked and I asked him what bar was I supposedly at drinking.To make a long story short it was a bar near the office supply store.I had parked my car right in front of the bar because all the parking spots were taken.I now know that was a bad choice on my part.
On Sunday I got up on Sunday morning and said I made a big mistake yesterday and I need to clear the air.I told the Church when I went to print the bulletin I parked my car in front of the bar and went in to get the bulletins printed and someone must have thought I was in the bar.In fact I told them a story is circulating that I was in the bar drinking.I told them this is not a fact and I want to clear the air right now and correct this story.
Well that Sunday morning we didn’t have a message because after I shared this story folks began coming to the front of the Church.The person who started the whole story confessed that he hadn’t seen me he just assumed.He asked for my forgiveness and then many of the people who passed the story around came and asked for my forgiveness.There at the altar we had an old-fashion repentance and forgiveness invitation.
God taught me and many of the folks that day that we need to be careful what we repeat.One of the folks in the Church had shared the story with an unsaved friend and it happened this friend came to Church because he was curious.As it happened he introduced to Jesus that morning and he got saved.He wanted to get baptized and so that evening we had a baptismal service and he followed the Lord in baptism.What this taught us is that God can work in the midst of what seems to be a disaster if we confess our sins and let Him work.
Long story, short story, I never parked in front of that bar again.