Do You Want To Be Pastored?

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18 Responses

  1. JD says:

    From being amongst pastors for over thirty-five years, I most definitely learned how not to be a pastor.

  2. Michael says:

    I thought this was really needful to post here.

    Kevin and I get a lot of grief for simply trying to be as “biblical” as possible when dealing with politics and cultural issues.

    We’re trying to lead people in discipleship…and it doesn’t go over well.

    On the other hand…if we wrote far right screeds about taking America for Jesus we could both retire…

  3. Kevin H says:

    You mean I could be getting rich off of this?!?! Why didn’t you tell me!

    Yes, God bless America and we need to get Christ back in Christmas and back in our schools and back in the government, while obliterating the Woke all along the way!

  4. Kevin H says:

    By the way, did this writing strike a cord or a chord? 🙂

  5. Michael says:

    Good catch…damn it… 🙂

  6. Shawn says:

    My last post was an incomplete mess. I don’t know how to delete a comment otherwise I would. I am not sure what happened to some of the words I typed but forgive me for my partially incoherence in the previous post above. Here is a somewhat more coherent version. I did make some additions too. Lol.

    In many ways this is one of the reasons I find myself wandering from the flock/church. It has become Biblically unrecognizable to me in many ways. It is discouraging that most Christians prefer to rail against the cultural at large while ignoring the huge I-beam in their own eye. I am not sure why most of the New Testament letters are recognized as still applicable to much of the church (tongue in cheek/sarcasm). All it takes is remembering who they were written to in the first place.

    Then there is the fact that no one seems to be seeking out their lost sheep (others or me). To them as long as new sheep replace the old sheep that have left then their calling is “validated.” What I mean is as long as the pews/stackable chairs are filled then the will of God is being done. All the while the lost sheep try to find a nourishing pasture. Unfortunately, they only find the same scraps of desert scrub brush.

    I guess the final dynamic is that even if they were trying to reclaim me as their lost sheep I would refuse to return. I once followed blindly but one the greatest blessings I received was the opportunity to go to “Cemetery” (despite the constant railing against it being a place where good Christians go to die. They were partially right. While it is true that many aspects of my former beliefs died at the same time some lived on, reformed, and expanded. I was able to see God’s truth from the context (and content) of the whole church not just the small fishbowl I once swam in. The picture and participation of the faith became a beautiful mosaic or expertly woven tapestry.
    On occasion I wonder if my calling is to help those who similarly wander. I am sure there are many of them who, like me, long to find a place to belong again. I often talk myself out of it (usually quickly at that). I don’t think I am physically, mentally, or spiritually up to such a daunting task. I suppose sometimes it is easier to wander. But deep inside I wonder…

  7. Michael says:

    Shawn,

    I took it down for you.

    I’m down with a bad back tonight…I’ll comment tomorrow.

  8. Muff Potter says:

    I have all the pastoring I need from that sweet and beautiful Rabbi from Nazareth.

  9. Linn says:

    I think there needs to be a church-wide review of what pastoring actually means. I’ve spent the past few days in John 11 watching Jesus pastor Mary and Martha after the death of Lazarus. He comforts, he corrects, he asks questions that help Mary and Martha both clarify their thoughts about who he is and what he can do. At the same time, Jesus is being very public in his thoughts and actions, knowing he will rile the Pharisees.

    Pastors guide, teach, comfort, and protect the sheep. Sometimes that might include public confrontation, but with Jesus it seemed to be a by-product of doing the right thing for his sheep. I don’t see Jesus going out of his way to confront, but rather to correct, the opposition.

  10. Michael says:

    Linn,

    You have nailed it.

    Irregardless of denomination, that is our job.

  11. Linn says:

    Muchael,
    When I was in Colombia I witnessed the kidnapping of two of my colleagues. It was traumatic, to say the least. I returned to my home, suddenly needing to deal with police and US Embassy people on an unsafe phone line. Lots happened and they were returned to us three months later. What still really impacts me is how the Colombian pastors just came and sat with me, prayed with me, and made sure I was constantly checked up on-meals, groceries when I felt I could cook, check-ins…that’s what real pastors do.

  12. Linn says:

    Michael,
    I’m praying your back improves!

  13. Michael says:

    Linn,

    Thank you…I’m getting another epidural next week, so I hope for better things.

    Right now…it’s not so good.

  14. pstrmike says:

    “one the greatest blessings I received was the opportunity to go to “Cemetery” (despite the constant railing against it being a place where good Christians go to die.”

    Aah the “Cemetery!” Usually used by sophomoric people who cannot comprehend that Christians can disagree of matters of faith and doctrine.

    I starting my last semester at my fourth seminary in a few weeks. All of them have different perspectives, none that I have agreed completely with. Seminary is not meant to be a place to spoon-feed people their theology, rather it attempts to challenge their belief system so that they will either change some of their views or learn to adequately defend their positions. For me, I have learned that if you ask enough questions, you eventually reach the achilles’ heal of every systematic theology. Every one.

    God is so much bigger than our conclusions of Who He is and what His truth consists of. Most people are uncomfortable with that, they want something consistent to what they already believe to be true. When you tell them “I’m not sure,” or question their deeply held beliefs, they become unsettled, eventually causes them to seek out someone else who will affirm the beliefs. Most seek out affirmation rather than deeper biblical understanding. It amazes me how much they think their personal study, or the opinions of their favorite pastor on the radio or internet is superior to my under-grad and my (soon to be four) graduate degrees in orthodox Christian schools. I think too often they are simply looking at the wrong metric to help them determine the validity of what they are being taught.

  15. Shawn says:

    pstrmike

    Well said. One of the classes I took in Theology was with a multi-generational Presbyterian theologian and pastor. He had us conduct mock debates on a variety of topics. When he presented the pre-trib versus the amillennial debate on the millennium two people quickly volunteered for the pre-trib view. For several minutes there were nothing but crickets for the amillennial side. I decided to break that silence and volunteer. Then someone else decided to join me. The other person had several children and an overnight job. I basically did all the research, and he would help present the material.

    Early in my research I read something from Anthony Hoekema that confirmed what I had already suspected. While I cannot recall exactly what he wrote I remember being struck by his claim that “amillennialism” is entrenched in the idea of the hope of Christ’s return. This was foreign to every caricature I had heard explained on the subject by pre-trib acolytes (most of which were just regurgitating the official Calvary Chapel and dispensational doctrines). I likewise having never studied or read any literature from the millennial perspective, was amazed, and challenged by what I found.

    When debate day rolled around. I took my fellow debaters to task. I somehow managed to convince the entire class that I ardently supported the amillennial position. At the time I did not support it, and I still do not, but I was surprised to find not only merit in that position but commonality in many areas, too. It was then I realized what you just wrote, “God is so much bigger than our conclusions of Who He is and what His truth consists of.” There is an intrinsic sense of mystery wrapped up in the character and nature of God. In this mystery is a wonderfully frightening cloud of unknowing. I have found it easier and easier to find a respite under the shade of that cloud. I have Seminary to thank for that.

    Congrats on your degrees. I wish I could do the same but the debt from the first one is insurmountable for me. I wish I had made better financing choices. Also, while there are some credible radio personalities too many of them have never done serious research or grappled with the challenges of their belief systems in a meaningful way. I sometimes miss the days when I was sure of everything. Well, at least, until I am not (which is like five minutes tops).

  16. pstrmike says:

    Shawn,
    Every once in a while, I miss feeling certain about things, but I have to wonder if that was a posture of spiritual pride, or because the importance of knowledge was pounded into my head so frequently, that I had to know that I knew that I knew that I knew (I’m sure you’ve read that before) what things are true. But I also think it is our normal thought process. It is a default way of thinking, that is, the enlightenment and modernism undergirded our sense of needing certainty about all things.

    The cloud of unknowing can be a scary experience, but I think it approaches God with the level of humility that is not only helpful for us to become closer to him, but honors him by recognizing that his ways are higher than a our ways.

  17. Shawn says:

    pstrmike,

    That is an interesting thought about missing feeling certain. I never have thought of it as pride though it would make perfect sense had I thought about longer and harder than I initially did. This would play right into what we were warned about, ad nauseum at that, about the puffing up of knowledge. It seems quite compelling from that angle that certainty, especially about a great many things, is a form of spiritual pride. Thanks for proposing that idea. I am going to ponder that for a while.

    I agree about the cloud of unknowing being both scary and comforting. In my estimation it is for certain (lol) the one theological posture that allows God to be, in totality and through seeming dichotomies, all that He is. Maybe it is like the old song we used to sing goes, “Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.” I now wonder if that “lifting up” is a reference to the vantage point that sees God for who He is without all the checks and balances we artificially place on knowing Him or know about Him.

    Brother, I sincerely appreciate your interaction and letting exercise my rusty cogs.

  18. Shawn says:

    Michael,
    Thanks for removing my hack job reply. No worries about replying I would much rather you rest and recover.

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