Wednesday, 14 December 2011

On Being A Pastor

Being a pastor is not a job, it is a way of life.

'I can be hired to do a job, paid a fair wage if I do it, dismissed if I don't.  But I can't be hired to be a pastor, for my primary responsibility is not to the people I serve but to the God I serve...In our present culture the sharp distinction between a job and a vocation is considerably blurred.  How do I, as a pastor, prevent myself from thinking of my work as a job that I get paid for, a job that is assigned to me by my denomination, a job that I am expected to do to the satisfaction of my congregation?  How do I stay attentive to and listening to the call that got me started in this way of life - not a call to make the church attractive and useful..., not a call to help people feel good about themselves and have a good life, not a call to use my considerable gifts and fulfil myself, but a call like Abraham's "to set out for a place...not knowing where he was going," a call to deny myself and take up my cross and follow Jesus, a call like Jonah's to "go at once to Nineveh, "a city he detested, a call like Paul's to "get up and enter the city and you will be told what to do"?

How do I keep the immediacy and authority of God's call in my ears when an entire culture, both secular and ecclesial, is giving me a job description?  How do I keep the calling, the vocation, of pastor from being drowned out by job descriptions, gussied up in glossy challenges and visions and strategies, clamouring incessantly for my attention?'  Eugene Peterson, The Pastor p 165

I am a pastor, a minister of the gospel.

I am not a business man.

I am not a strategist.

I am not called to be successful.

I am not called to be powerful.

I am not called to run a business, make money, plan strategies, do five point plans or be ambitious.

I am called to be pastor, a minister of the gospel.  I am called to be a friend, a servant, a sign of love and voice of hope.  I am called to love, care and support people.  I am called to help the helpless and be a person of peace and justice.  I am called to be person who puts relationship and people first.

I am called to love and worship God with all that I am and walk with Him in obedience, faithfulness and love.  I am called to be a blessing in what He is already doing.  I am called to share His Story through the life of the church, inviting people to become a part of the Great Story.

I am a pastor, a minister of the Gospel.  

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