Monday, July 11, 2011

Pastoring the Human Condition

a continuing seris

I took part in a wedding Saturday, a funeral today, and sandwiched in between were three morning Bible presentations, two afternoon meetings, and a church fellowship yesterday evening. Pastoral ministry will give you a good case of emotional whip-lash if you're not careful.  Besides these events, I am dealing with several families facing very stiff difficulties and several individuals in very ill health.

Clearly, knowing myself as I do, I know I am not adequate to this task. If the pastoral focus is on me therefore, and what I can bring to the table, then my people are being ill-served. Worse yet, if I constantly move the chess pieces to make the outcome favorable for myself and how I come off as Pastor-Superstar then the momentum to help comes toward me and not the one in need. 

This is not good.

A better, more healthy, more biblically-grounded approach is to begin with the admission of my own needs as pastor.

"LORD, help me help your people." 
"LORD, open to me the resources of your Spirit so that I might really hear the one in front of me." 
"LORD, help me keep my mouth shut and my ears open, giving the broken what they desperately need most, not advise, but a listening ear.