Why Snakes, Turtles, and a Tortoise are Important for my Ministry

So I am a weird person. Since I was a kid I loved and kept turtles as pets. Eventually I added tortoises, and since seminary we have gotten 3 very docile snakes and 2 lizards. I love keeping these animals, caring for them, and working with them. As a family we often go to reptile shows to see other kinds of reptiles. DSC_0016

A while back I was talking to my friend and colleague Chris Thomas about my love of reptiles. He pointed out that a lot of pastors he knew did some kind of hobby where they got to produce and see the fulfilment of and fruit of their labor. I think he is right. Many pastors I know like to do things like garden or brew beer.

Ministry can be challenging because we don’t always get the fruit of our labor. We do some things that never bear fruit. Some of the fruit is hidden. Some fruit does not blossom until years later.

My dad did a lot of work at Presbytery and doing consulting and retreats with other churches during his years of ministry. I think he too wanted to see some progress.

So I keep reptiles. It is nothing like ministry and provides a nice escape for me. More importantly, I get to see the fruit of my own labor.

What are your fulfilling hobbies?


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