Are you really human?
Pastors are a strange lot! They seem to walk in tight formation with God and have answers for all sorts of biblical texts. Just yesterday, I read a humorous but truthful article that outlined the 50 things one should never say to their pastor. Oh, the list included things like,
1. Well pastor, you only work one day a week.
2. I heard that same sermon preached at our vacation church.
3. Isn't Joel Osteen simply awesome?
4. According to my calendar, you have preached today's sermon on three other occasions.
Actually, pastors are those called by God to lead their congregations and provide spiritual care for a wide spectrum of people. We obtain schooling to broaden our experience and engage continuing education to keep apprised of new leadership skills. We are encouraged to read extensively so that we can understand our culture and provide sermons that feed and energize the church for ministry to the same culture. We are financial planners, marriage counselors, teachers, and encouragers.
We change the empty toilet roll in the men's room and have been known to fix leaking faucets in the ladies room too. We order the life of the church and set goals. We pray and vision for the church and train and equip disciples to claim their place in ministry.
In my first appointment, I was busy with a community project and one person approached me and
struck up a conversation. In the midst of this discussion, the person was heard to say, "Being a pastor
is...well you know...you aren't really human. Right?" At that moment, my CPU overheated and the
My personal approach to this vocation of pastor is simple. I love God, try to love people and develop them to become followers of Jesus. The developing process involved here is ongoing and filled with twists and turns.
My humanness must include daily time in Bible study, prayer, and reflection. These are essential for me. I can't be the pastor my church needs apart from personal spiritual disciplines, self care and exercise. I can't comfort hurting folks if I'm not healthy myself. That said, I am a broken human being, healed by Christ, filled with the Spirit and called to love. I am not Superman; I am human. Sometimes goofy, but still human... How about you, are you human?
(Rocking my Hines Ward jersey!)