I appreciate pastors. We’re not perfect. There are some wolves who dress up like sheep, no doubt.
But I appreciate the women and men who find themselves engaged in this vocation, often brought into it despite their personal preferences, dreams and plan for their own lives.
One of the most challenging things about being a pastor in our days and in our ways is the mix of messages we receive about what the Church is supposed to be all about.
We not only have the experts in our local church itself, but we have the pro tips coming in on a regular basis from the Christian publishing houses. On my shelves alone, you could find the following “relatively” new books:
The Kingdom focused church
The Living Church
Aqua Church 2.0
The Emotionally Healthy Church
The Purpose Driven Church
The Saviour Sensitive Church
The Unstuck Church
The High Impact Church
No wonder there’s more than a little incredulity towards the metanarrative. We have so many versions of “what it all boils down to” that it’s impossible for pastors to keep up. It seems inevitable that pastors who try to stay informed will develop some anxiety and depression.
One week after you finally get your church all sticky we discover that messy is where it’s at and a week after that it’s really about being a deep, emotionally purpose-driven transformational simple church. Easy, there’s a book for that, and probably a conference coming up too.
Most of the pastors I know are trying to do the best they can in the best way they know how and they have a genuine interest in continuing to grow, improve and develop their gift/skill set as women and men engaged in the vocational call to pastor. I realize that in almost every field there is continuing ed and there are new voices offering a new way, a better way, to do that thing you do. However, most of these don’t include the weight of eternal consequences and dire warnings for those who step out to be pastors and teachers for the flock of God of which they are only a part.
So what I’m on about today is I hope if you have a pastor and you find you can appreciate even a percentage of their efforts on your behalf that you can give them some encouragement today. (BTW – 5 tips on how they can do what they do better is NOT encouragement no matter what you think.) And for those who are already engaged in this vocation that is far, far more art than science, I applaud you today and I am grateful for the light you are that shines against this encroaching darkness. YOU are a star.