Friday, March 10, 2006


Do you agree with this message?

Pastors need to be all about Jesus and the practices of Jesus.
Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.The sinful, broken, the lost should find great love and joy in being around you. The Pharisees should feel uncomfortable. Jesus ate at both kinds of peoples homes, but he had an annoying habit of exposing Pharisees hypocrisy every time he sat down with them. Translate that to the church: If the "righteous" are getting worried about our commitment to the "absolute Truth" because some gay people are coming to the church and being ministered to, then you're probably doing something right.
Pastors lead without apology.
I am not here to merely be "a face" that represents the sum of everyone's desires for church direction, methodology, programs, etc. and then synthesize them into some Frankenstein of ministry to "keep all the cliques happy". I will seek out counselors, but those that I trust do not have agendas, want my best and believe in me.
Pastors are here to give you what you need, not what you want.
Most people don't know the difference, and it's a big one, hence God's gift of a shepherd.
Pastors are not the filler of a void that is solely yours.
We aren't here to be the vicarious Christian testimony you can't seem to create or sustain yourself. Our relationship with God is not a substitute for yours. Our families being "successful" (code for: outwardly perfect) is not a free pass for you to neglect your own. We aren't here to make you feel better about your failings by preserving some sick facade of "perfection" that satisfy your personal political and cultural values that nobody is really living up to in the first place.
Pastors don't have to do things methodologically your way.
Barring clear cut evidence of doctrinal/moral transgression,(i.e. chapter and verse proof, contravention of Creedal affirmations or statement of faith, etc.), I put in the time, I get to do things my way.Just cuz it's not the way you would do it, doesn't mean I don't love Jesus or am not able to be respected because you didn't get your way. Stop whining.
Pastors speak for themselves.
I interpret me, you don't interpret me. Clear cut evidence of doctrinal/moral transgression is not based in your perception that such transgression has taken place. Grow up and just come ask where I am headed with something or what I think about something--don't presume to speak for me or understand me on first hearing.
Pastors are to be respected.
In the world, you might need to earn respect, but in the church "earning respect" is a foil to keep leaders off balance. Biblically, respect is bestowed by virtue of position and the affirmation of the spiritual authority of the elders. Heb. 13 has a command to follow the leadership of the church and to not make their work a burden (by virtue of your unteachableness and resistance). If you can't follow clear cut commands like that or Matt. 18, then don't come lecturing me about my perceived contraventions of Scripture that you concluded must be happening because of a gossip session you reveled in. If you can't get it together on this one, then please find a church where you can, go there and stop talking about me.
Pastors do not have to walk on eggshells.
We need to carefully define what is evil and worthy of being reproached: ACTUAL SIN. (That doesn't include areas of disagreement that are not clearly defined in Scripture and if you are going to make me choose between how you read Paul and the clear witness of the Gospels about Jesus--I'm going with Jesus. Even if you're right, 9 times out of 10 people bring that stuff up to control and maintain their own sense of "rightness" and that's a sin that you need to let go of. I'm here to help you do that by not allowing you to manipulate and control.)Being above reproach is not a call to be inauthentic in hopes of avoiding "offending" grey area convictions of more conservative members of the congregation. Avoiding the appearance of evil is a perspective for the outside of the community of faith, not a club for pharisees to beat their leaders into submission.Both those commands are about public witness to the world, not the perceptions of "image" by fellow believers with less freedom on non-essential matters.Those commands were written when Christians were accused of having secret sex orgies with the dead, being atheists, cannibals and longing for the destruction of public order.When you are being thrown to the lions for those kinds of lies, you need to watch your step.Those commands were never intended to be used as a tool for manipulation.
Pastors are to be busy doing works of love and service, not being glorified managers.
Our concerns are to be primarily spiritual. So yes, praying is part of my job, my personal devotional life is part of my job, taking time to be with people over coffee and food is part of my job. Being chained to a desk in an office guarantees less real ministry is happening.
Pastors need friends.
Just the other day, 2 friends went to dinner with me and we had a fantastic talk about a lot of things, we touched on concerns of being "above reproach", we sought out understanding and I knew that they did it because they loved me, respected me and wanted my best. Those are the kinds of people I can trust where they are coming from, and they are the kind of people that I want to surround me with the wisdom of the abundance of counselors.

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