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Sunday, March 01, 2009

What a Good Pastor Does

I had an interesting conversation with my pastor recently. We met for lunch, and I had a very pressing matter to discuss. It concerned my struggle with another person, in which it seemed quite clear to me that the other person was in the wrong. After I related my horrific tale of how I have been abused and mistreated by this person, my pastor asked me a few simple questions. I walked away from those questions very troubled. I walked away unsettled. I walked away more humbled and confronted than I have been in a long time. I suddenly found myself begging God to show me the ways I have sinned in the matter. Without being presumptuous or overbearing, my pastor had asked me if I was willing to take the big fat log out of my own eye.

It seems that we often need to be gently confronted with the reality of our sinfulness in specific situations - something we are oddly blind to, no matter how much we practice spiritual disciplines and try to serve God. I'm fairly good at developing the theology of my general depravity. But when it comes to the truly humbling aspect of this truth applied directly to myself on a daily basis, I am woefully inadequate. I can't self-pastor. This is one of the reasons God has established the Church. It's one of the reasons He has commanded us to exhort, encourage, rebuke, restore and forgive one another. In essence, He tells us to "be Jesus" to one another. And that's what a good pastor does. I wouldn't trade it for a thousand purpose-driven sermons. I'm convinced that God is much more pleased with a servant who preaches the Gospel and authentically disciples others than He is with a CEO-pastor building a mega-"church" for the masses or leading a social movement. I know I'm helped more by the servant.


  1. Amen to that, brother.

    Just as God cares more for your CHARACTER than He does your COMFORT, so must the pastor.

    The sad thing is that the church has been a numbers-game to most of them.

  2. I'm thankful that our pastor is willing to privately confront us at our church, although I am like you and most everyone else (I assume) when it comes to being confronted--I find it hard to accept; further evidence, I'm sure, that correction is exactly what I need.

  3. Warren,

    Good points. Character is ONLY developed through suffering, so by catering to our comfort a pastor CANNOT develop our character.


    I agree, correction is always difficult to take. But my pastor did this so skillfully and gently that I hardly had a chance to resist. I find the best counselors are the ones who ask strategic questions that lead us to make the right conclusions on our own. Somewhere David said, "Let a righteous man rebuke me, it is oil on my head." On the other hand, the writer of Hebrews said, "No discipline is pleasant at the time." It's what happens afterwards, when there is repentance, growth and change, that is wonderful.


  4. Derek,

    Better is the rebuke of a friend than the kiss of an enemy.


  5. Hey Derek,
    Thanks for this! It is often so easy to see sin in others and forget about ourselves! It is awesome to have a pastor that will take such stands! I love mine as well!

    Blessings bro


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