A Pastor...not a "Pope."

With all due respect to my Roman Catholic friends, I want to say some of the things that I have been feeling for a very long time:

1) Men and women who are called into pastoral ministry are called to "shepherds" not Chief Executive Officers. Now admittedly, administrative duties go with these positions in many local churches---but "people" are the business of the Kingdom...not paper work. Not committee meetings, or constant, eternal, unending "planning" sessions.

2) People in the local church want men and women who will be "pastors" not popes. Sadly, I thought I had a "pastor" for three years, and when the rubber met the road last November, I found out that I had been sitting under the authority of a system that regarded the "pastor/shepherd" as the infallible pope of the local congregation. When God calls men and women to be "pastors"--that is the FIRST and FOREMOST task at hand for that particular person.

3) I've been a Christian for the last 38 years of my life. Now I'm 44. I've seen wonderful men and women of God who loved God's sheep, and who were ready to give their lives for those same sheep. Sadly, I've also seen a miserable few who knew "their gravy" was made...and could care less about the sheep in their care.

4) I've been wounded by someone who did not keep their word--and that person was also a "spiritual authority" over me--and it was devastating, on many levels. And to this day, that person professes their great love for me. But their actions speak much louder than their words ever will. And it's been very painful for me.

May God grant to His people those pastors who are after His own heart...and who truly exemplify the power of the Gospel and the Great Shepherd when He said, "No greater love has any man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends..." (John 15:13).

I want a pastor like that.


J. Stephen Conn said...

Another excellent post, Phil. I like a man who tells it like it is. I've known a pastor/pope or two myself. Although I believe they are a small minority of ministers, they taint the whole body.

Also, thanks very much for the very nice review you gave my book on Amazon.com. It is greatly appreciated.

Joe Misek said...

Well, I've always felt that power is a drug. The spotlight can be really seductive. That's why Jesus basically taught that the leaders in the church should lead by their bravado and influence, but by the degree of their humility and servanthood.

It reminds me of the passage in 1 Cor. 13, and we can fill in the blanks here, "If I can ______, but have not love, I am just ______"

Good post, Brother Phil.