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!

The Great Shepherd’s Words, or Just Ours?

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.

“We have a lot in common with the presidential press secretaries. They are expected to stand in front of an audience and speak for the president. They are to say what the president wants said and to explain as the president himself would. But press secretaries get in deep trouble if they say what the president never intended, if they try to make their words his words.

So it is for pastors opening the Bible in sermons, Bible studies, or counseling. Do you ever get so used to speaking for the Lord that you think your own opinions are divinely inspired? There’s a fine line there, but it is a dangerous thing to flash the badge of divine authority for personal use.” (Pastoral Graces, Lee Eclov, Loc 316)

Grace to Pastor

pastoralgracesbookI recently concluded the book Pastoral Graces by Lee Eclov.  A great book for pastors to read!  I’ll occasionally be sharing some excerpts with you, and hope to write a review.

“Since shepherding is a God-given assignment, it is too hard for us. How many times does a pastor think, They never taught us this in seminary? But God gives grace indiscriminately. Years ago I memorized 2 Corinthians 9:8. I have it framed on my wall. ‘And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.’” (loc 131)