I Want To Be A Pastor Who…

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(#s 1-6 below quoted from Eugene Peterson’s memoir “The Pastor.”)

“I Want To Be A Pastor Who…

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1. Prays. I want to be reflective and responsive and relaxed in the presence of God so that I can be reflective and responsive and relaxed in [the congregation’s] presence. I can’t do that on the run [i.e. being busy all the time]. It takes a lot of time. I started out doing that with [this church], but now I feel too crowded.

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2. Reads and Studies. This culture in which we live squeezes all the God sense out of us. I want to be observant and informed enough to help this congregation understand what we are up against, the temptations of the devil to get us thinking we can all be our own gods. This is subtle stuff. It demands some detachment and perspective. I can’t do this just by trying harder.

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3. Has the Time To Be With You in leisurely, unhurried conversations so that I can understand and be a companion with you as you grow in Christ–your doubts and your difficulties, your desires and your delights. I can’t do that when I am running scared [from one program to the next].

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4. Leads You In Worship, a pastor who brings you before God in receptive obedience, a pastor who preaches sermons that make Scripture accessible and present and alive, a pastor who is able to give you a language and imagination that restores in you a sense of dignity as a Christian in your homes and workplaces and gets rid of these debilitating images of being a ‘mere’ layperson.

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5. Has the Time to Read a Story to [My Children].

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6. Isn’t Always Busy.”

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7. Serves You [The Congregation] Constantly (while doing the same first and foremost for my family) and models for you what it looks like to do the same to others. That doesn’t mean that I want to do everything by myself–we are a team, the body of Christ Himself! :)–but I want to constantly show you through my actions that I truly love you, that my office/position/title as pastor does not entitle me to the right to be served/esteemed by you but rather blesses (and at times burdens!) with the opportunity to pour my life out for you on a daily basis.

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8. Grows Closer to Jesus With You as an equal member of the congregation. I want to share my own struggles with you along the way to remind you that the prominence of my role does not equal its importance (just as Rick Warren said, “My nose is my most prominent feature but it is certainly not the most important organ/body part!”). I want to share my own victories along the way (what the Holy Spirit is teaching me and how He is helping me) to remind you that I am neither a spiritual expert nor am I necessarily more spiritually mature than you; I have simply been chosen by God to be His microphone through which He speaks to draw all of us closer to Him.

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9. Leaves My Children With A Positive Taste of What A Local Church Is once their childhoods are finished, a pastor who didn’t allow the local church to steal my children’s Papa from them but rather a pastor who learned how to better love/serve my family from loving/serving the local church.

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10. Unites Christians Together Across Denominational Lines so that our candles combined may shine a greater light in this world on how great the LORD is, how much He loves the people of this world, and how much the people of this world need Him.
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Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I want to be that kind of pastor. Holy Spirit, help me to be patient–and remain on Your operating table–as You do the work necessary in my character to help me become that kind of pastor.

(#s 1-6 above quoted from Eugene Peterson’s memoir “The Pastor.”)