Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Eye Black Challenger - Pastor Mark Conforti

As you may remember, we liked Mark's suggestion for Tebow's Eye Black for the Tennessee game. His recommendation for the game was James 3:13-14:

James 3:13-14: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

mark is a Gator who is pastoring in North Carolina. He has a blog detailing his life as a pastor, and we recommend you read it as an example of how a pastor serves a congregation.

My name is Mark Conforti, and I serve as a United Methodist pastor in North Carolina. I graduated from The University of Florida in 2000. As you might imagine, I have indelible memories of Danny Wuerffel, Coach Spurrier and so many others from my student days. Now, of course, I am equally impressed and inspired with Tim Tebow.

In my life as a pastor, I seek to connect with people in order to share God's love. These sorts of relationships take time. They require trust and humility, too. If I want my congregation members to listen to me, I need to listen to them first.

And so, sometime during my days on campus in Gainesville, I started signing off my e-mails in all lower case letters: "mark." Why? This is a simple act of humility. It's a small thing, sort of like writing Scripture on eye black. But I've noticed the impact this has made on my pastoral relationships. This subtlety suggests, "hey, I'm with you in the journey of faith; no need to put me on a pedestal."

I hope this small, intentional effort of humility continues to provide opportunities to build relationships.

If you are in North Carolina, and are with out a church home, or are simply on vacation, stop in and visit Mark and the good people of Salem UMC in Morgantown.

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