confessions of a pastor - pt 1: introduction

Recently I shared a message at the church I serve that covered a topic someone was curious about - "What's it like to be a pastor?" I really struggled with working on the message, primarily because I wasn't sure what they wanted to know, nor did I want to turn a sermon into a rant or reality show.

But it did get me thinking... is it valuable for people to know what  it's like to be a pastor?

On one hand, I'm not sure how this kind of confession would be received. If I do share some of the struggles I deal with it may be easy for someone to say, "Tell me about it! Let me tell you about MY struggles!" I know there's a lot of real pain out there, and hearing about one person's "broken arm" may not sound all that bad if you have two "broken legs."

On the other hand, there is a world of insight that not a lot of people realize about being a pastor. I've heard doctors talk about how they hold someone's life in their hands... I have friends who work in investment firms that hold people's retirement funds in their hands... and so on.

I only wish my job was that simple. I'm dealing with the eternities of the people I see every day. If I'm a jerk or have an "off-moment," it may be the final straw that turns someone off to churches, and potentially Christ Himself. In fact, given today's social media outlet they just may rant to everyone they know about how they think a "pastor is supposed to act."

I don't have the luxury to rant. I don't have the freedom to chew someone out. I don't have the time to waste to do frivolous things that only lead to another trophy on the wall.

Sure, I share my feelings. Sure, I stand up for the things that matter. Sure, I have things I do to enjoy life.

What I mean is I have given up making my life about my reactions, politics and hobbies in order to enjoy the privilege of leading people into a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ.

That trade-off may be difficult, but I'll take it every time.

Every time.
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

(More coming.)

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