Pastoral Authority?

pastoralgracesbookHere’s another quote from Lee Eclov’s book Pastoral Graces. Again, a great book, from the heart of a pastor, about the heart of us pastors.

“The authority God invests in pastors does not come with the usual perks of leadership.  You don’t really get to be the boss of anything. (That’s the part that seems to get lost in some Christian leadership books.)  People will ignore you just as they ignore God; yet we’re expected to lead them.  Jesus tells us explicitly that we cannot lord it over others, but rather we must be their servants.  Foot washing servants!  It is a hard way to get things done.  Plus sometimes God Himself practically kills us “so that [Jesus’] life may be revealed in our mortal bodies” (2 Corinthians 4:11).” (loc. 364)

I sometimes feel leading a congregation is like going shopping with a teenage child at the mall.  You’re there to give guidance on what they should buy, and you’ll pay for it.   Plus, you just want to have a good time with your teen child.  The teenager, however, is often moody, walks several steps behind or ahead so as not to be seen with you.  The people in the congregation are often like that with the one called to be their pastoral leader.  They get the “pastoral” part of it but not always the “leader” part of it.

In my saner moments I know this is how God gets His work done through us, His pastors.  It’s servant leadership, servant leadership, servant leadership!

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