Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A few words about pastors

Prompted by a conversation with my wife, I thought about pastors today. I thought about Pastor Eddie Thompson, an old friend of ours, close as a brother to my wife, struggling in the hospital with pneumonia. I thought about Dan Burchett, pastor of Open Door, ministering to the unique needs of gay Christians. I thought of the pastor of the Calvary Chapel that I "grew up" in my faith in, who taught me exegesis and who left quietly under circumstances I still am not clear about. I thought of my own most recent pastor of seven years, moved to Texas to start something new. And yes, I even thought of ex-pastors I've come to know through my online travels.

I fear, terribly, that what I've said and done here might have wounded them. If any of them read this blog, it wouldn't be difficult at times for them to see themselves the target of a sharp comment or a pointed question.

I fear that in my carelessness I wound without just cause. To a man, each one I've mentioned is passionate about caring for God's people. Perhaps even those I've accused of being corrupted by money, blinded by ignorance or led astray by anger and hate. To take up the pastor's call is to bear a cross that precious few could handle.

So if I am to question anything, let it be that we may have created in the office of pastor a burden that no single believer was meant to bear. Let me only question the wisdom of our vesting power and responsibility in the hands of one man who we then--all too often--leave to his own devices, cut off from intimacy with his fellow believers. It's not pastors' fault that they strain under the weight of the burden that was not theirs to carry alone.

I have no answers for any of this. None. All I can say, humbly, is that something isn't working and that I hope by talking about it we will find a way to make things better.

5 Comments:

At 7:18 PM, Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

Babe you are the best man in the world I love you

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

I'm right there with you, Zeke. I'm critical of the institutionalized role of the pastor, especially as it exists here in North America. However, being the daughter and granddaughter of ministers I know it's a tough job -- a job that most Christians want to exist. Someone has to do it. Even non-Christians might want it to exist, for the purpose of weddings and funerals, Christmas and Easter.

The role of the pastor should be examined and dissected, like everything. But most pastors around the world are just trying to do their best (and working 60-80 hour weeks in the attempt).

 
At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I fear, terribly, that what I've said and done here might have wounded them. If any of them read this blog, it wouldn't be difficult at times for them to see themselves the target of a sharp comment or a pointed question."

I have been wounded by your words and others like you. Although I understand what you are doing, your ways have often been without grace and sensitivity to many who like the good shepard, would lay down their life for the sheep.

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger Zeke said...

Then I ask for your forgiveness, Pastor.

 
At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Rich(luthsem) said...

I am studying to be a pastor in the Lutheran Church and I welcome all criticisms. Sometimes the truth hurts

 

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