Tuesday, August 24, 2010



To my pastor friends:

I hate to break this to you, but you are not THAT special. And the sooner you realize that, the better your ministry will be. You are not smarter than the rest of us. You have a heavy burden, but then so do we all. YOU are not here to save us, or the church - that is God's business - you are just a tool in the effort - AS ARE THE REST OF US.

With that intro, you might guess that I find this web site, "Pooped Pastors," a little off-putting.
But I also try to communicate to the students the incredible gift God gives when he calls us into ministry. There is nothing that even comes close to the grand and glorious privilege of serving as a shepherd of God’s people. Pastors get a front row seat on God’s awesome work in people’s lives, an open door into the hearts of God’s people and a taste of reality that nobody else will ever experience.

I can’t tell you the irritation I felt when someone would tell me that I didn’t live in the real world. I wanted to say (and often did), “You don’t know anything about the real world, you twit! I see more of the real world in a day than you’ll see in a lifetime. I’ve cleaned up after more suicides, stood beside more deathbeds, buried more babies, listened to more confessions, bound up more broken hearts, shared more secrets, and experienced more pain than you’ll ever know. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!”
You know dear pastor friend, if you built disciples in your church instead of just built your church you'd have someone to share those burdens with instead of just complain about it. The burden comes with the job, it won't go away, but you can share it - I think that's what the whole "body of Christ" thing was all about.

Here's the thing. Every job has unique burdens, and yours does have a few. Being a job in the public eye, you're going to get a few stupid arrows thrown your way, but some of them are probably deserved too. Yes, by virtue of your position people will bring their pain to you that they might otherwise keep to themselves.

But let me tell you about my job. As a consultant, the regular employees of a company will always blame me when something goes wrong because, even when I told them how to do it right and they did not listen. I'm dispensable they are not. As a consultant, I am often fired more times in a year than most people are in a lifetime, and most of the time through no fault of my own. Oh yeah, and you know when I get called? When businesses are failing! When they have gotten so many notices of violation and are threatened with fines so severe that the business will fail and anywhere from 10 to 200 people will hit the streets unemployed if I can't figure out a way through it. No, no arrows or pain in my life.


You're special - I'm special - WE ARE ALL SPECIAL. The sooner you figure out that you're one of the rest of us with a different job - the sooner you figure out we are here to help you not be the objects of your ministry - the sooner you model the humility and self-denial God demands of all of us; the sooner God will work in all of us and you won't need stupid websites from people that think they are better than the rest of us.

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