on the pastoral ministry

Mark has a post responding to Brian LePort about academics in the church.  Well, Mark linked to an online interview with Eugene Peterson where he talks alot about his experiences as a pastor.  There is so much important and really good stuff there for small church pastors to be thinking about and that, really, should be an encouragement.
One really strong point about Eugene Peterson’s work is how so much of what he is says applies to pastoral ministry in general  irrespective of denominational affiliation.   If you are a pastor you are a pastor.  It is a vocation, a calling.  I don’t know if it really matters what denomination you associate with in effort to pursue your vocation (though I grant that some groups might make that a little easier than some others and some are a better fit for some than others, and it is even sadder that we’ve come to a place where many can no longer appreciate diversity in the body such as one’s Pentecostal friend or one’s Methodist friend or Presbyterian or Lutheran, Catholic etc.).  Pastors are people whom God has called to feed his sheep, to oversee the spiritual welfare of his people in their respective communities of faith.  They are pastors in their communities as well (towns and cities).  It really is a way of life and not just a job.  It’s a vocation.

Well anyways…

Here are some snippets:

I remain convinced that if you are called to it, being a pastor is the best life there is. But any life can be the best life if you’re called to it.

on how he became a pastor:

I think I was attracted to the intense relational and personal quality of this life. At the time I decided to become a pastor, I was assistant professor at a seminary. I loved the teaching, but when I compared it with what I was doing as an associate pastor, there was no comparison. It was the difference between being a coach in the locker room, working out plays on the chalkboard, and being one of the players on the field. I wanted to be one of the players on the field, playing my part as the life of Christ was becoming incarnate again in my community.

This is a good quote too:

We’re not a market-driven church, and the ministry is not a market-driven vocation. We’re not selling anything, and we’re not providing goods and services. If a pastor is not discerning and discriminating about the claims of his or her vocation and about the claims of a congregation, then the demands or the desires of the congregation can dominate what he or she is doing — and that creates the conditions for nonpastoral work.

Here is a segment that could go towards support for blogging:

I think the primary reason for wanting to leave was boredom. After one episode of boredom, I realized that the boredom was my fault. I wasn’t paying attention to things. It was like I was walking through a field of wildflowers and not seeing any of them because I’d seen them 500 times before. So I learned to start looking. For me, writing helped me see what I was missing. My writing became a partial cure for the boredom, because it made me look more closely.

Well, read on and be blessed!

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Filed under Eugene Peterson, Pastoral Ministry, Pastoring

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