Thursday, March 13, 2014

Good Story... Pastor Scott

For this blog I interview my churchs' senior Pastor, Pastor Scott McLauhglin. I have known him for 4 years, my mom works at our church as director of youth ministries, so since then I have been able to get to known him... in depth. I find his story with his faith relateable. He brings some pretty hard points to the table and I think some are answered and others you have to trust.

"I was blessed to grow up in a very Christian family. My parents involved in church and Billy Graham Association, neighborhood Bible Studies. Always praying at the door with my mom before leaving to school. Prayer at the supper table before meals, confirmation, I was an acolyte. Back in the day they had them when they had more retractile services, acolytes would light the candles and you would have acolyte sticks. So, when I was an acolyte which meant you wore these robes and sometimes you would get in trouble for goofing off, but on the chancel on the radeys platform they had a bench where the Pastor would sit there, or Pastors would sit there and, so would acolytes.  That was cool for a young person, to be getting that kind of a privilege. I had a piano teacher and she was always interested in missions and so we would spend a good part of my half hour lesson talking about missions."

Some people may think because people have faith, or are in a religion that restricts them from doing childish, stupid things as a kid, but the truth is... NO IT DOSEN'T!! Pastor Scott shares some silly things he and his buddies did growing up and what his own personal struggles were as a kid growing up.

"Halloween was big for doing a lot of things I am ashamed of, kids going out and feeling our liberty to teepee houses. I proposed marriage in first grade, the teacher went out of the room and I did something I would get in trouble for, so this girl was going to tell, so I said, “Promise not to tell, I’ll marry you.” She moved in third grade so I didn’t have to marry her!"

"I had to take speech class, I didn’t pronounce my r’s and s’s right and that was kind of embarrassing because they took me out of class for that too. So, everyone kind of knew what was going on; felt very self-conscious about that. Reading was my favorite subject. They had a, Great Books, it was called and they just encouraged students to read so called "classics" and so we were able to get out of class with other children that would get together and talk to others about the book you were reading, so that was fun. I liked english... I liked everything in school.”

More down the line Scott went to seminary school and well, he can tell the rest of the story.

“I did a biology majored first. I remember I was standing outside a class, biology class on bottomy and just listening to the instructor teach. I wasn’t even in that class and it just struck me ‘Am I really that interested to get a major in biology?’ I guess I wasn’t; I decided it was just too much work."

"It was seminary in Chicago, the big issue for me was suffering, what’s know as the Odyssey. How can you justify God when there is all this evil in the world? Is there a God? Could there be a God without the evil going on in the world? For me it was a kind of philosophical thing for me. I read a book called ‘After Auschwitz’ written by a Jewish scholar basically dealing with the whole thing of human history. So, I wasn’t an atheist I was just like, 'I have to figure this out. I have too many questions.' The answers that I got didn’t satisfy me and so I did do a lot of searching and questioning and not saying there is a God, not saying there isn’t a God I just need to figure this out for myself. So, I did a lot of reading, ton of reading."

"I had kind of a spiritual experience of experiencing Christ in the room with me and the presence of Christ. I just knew that he was present and I knew he was real, so I got down on my knees and rededicated my life. It’s hard to explain, but it was a grey February afternoon and I came to my apartment and it was Friday, so I was able to take off early from work that day took a nap in my chair. I woke up and there was a light presence and... I just knew."

Scott told me breifly how he went back seminary a while after rededicating his life.

"I think Catherine said, because she knew, in sense I had a call even as a boy to be a missionary, or something. So she suggested, 'Why don’t you take some evening classes at seminary.' In doing that it really I heard again the call to go back into seminary to finish what I started, but I never dreamed I would be back because I had a job, good job, but I didn’t like it. It was business and I hated business, but you know, God gave me favor. Looking back God gave me favor and kept me from getting into all kinds of things. Bottom line God was faithful when I was faithful, so you look back and you see his hand and his province, so he was stirring me and giving me confidence in my whole speech thing because part was standing in front of people from time to time, so God called me out of my insecurities."

Pastor Scott reflects on his first church, a Three Point Perish church, and also reflects on himself, being a Pastor. How well has he done, does he think he has failed in anyway?

"It was a Three Point Perish, so three congregations. I had internships and all that, but that was my first ordained church. Before that I was a helping out at churches in Pasadena and California. It was good, good way to cut my teeth you know, it was demanding physically speaking, and emotionally speaking, and spiritually. You have to go to three Council meetings because you have three congregations and all that, but it was a good to way to wear all hats. I was Youth Pastor, Pasto for everything and sometimes when you get called to like a... if I went to a church like North Heights, where me and Catherine were members there, they put you with one job, and you would do only that job.

"As a Pastor you always feel, I think it’s common, but you feel inadequate, for the calling. That’s probably good in a way because then you're not self-reliant; I think that’s one way to keep us humble and dependent upon the Lord for that. The minute you get proud of something... whatever you may call it your success is not really your success at all as the world defines it, you know 'To God be the glory'. You know glorifying yourself is a huge danger in this line of work. I think I’ve always tried to be open to new things, so I think that’s something I’m happy about, so yeah just being open to new ideas, things. The church has changed a lot during my generation and even this current generation. Some of them good, some of them bad"

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