Wednesday, July 4, 2007

What does an Office give?

One of the things that I think we can forget as Pastors sometimes is that being in an Office doesn't give a person the ability to do something - it provides duties and responsibilities - and the authority to care out those duties and responsibilities rightly. This is a very important distinction to remember - and it is true for any and all office.
As exactly one month to the day I will be hitched, let's look at what I will get with being put into the Office of "Husband". I will gain duties and responsibilities. It will be my duty to love and provide and care for my wife. I will have authority to act as head of the house to carry out these duties - but I get no new abilities or powers that I didn't have before. I don't magically get a pay raise - I have the same resources as before. Pastor Nehrenz isn't going to hand me a box of viagra - no new powers there. Just a new way to use my cash and my time - nothing more added.
Likewise a Pastor. A Pastor is not given any additional "power" or abilities when he is ordained. Ordination is not like getting a Mushroom from Super Mario Brothers - it doesn't make you bigger. Rather - it gives you duties. Go look at your ordination vows - it lists off what you swear to do for these people - things which you had not needed to do before hand. You are granted no power, no special abilities - rather the duty and authority to act in the Office of the Public Ministry.
The power that we exercise is never about us - it's never intrinsic to us. It is simply the power of God's Word. Period. And as Christians, God's Word is our great heritage - not just the sole purview of a few clandestine guys in funny outfits. Rather this - being called as a Pastor gives us a burden and duty - that we are to use this Word not just privately in our own lives with our family and neighbors - but publicly in the lives of others whom we otherwise wouldn't interact with in this way.
An office is always a burden - never a source of power. One might gain additional resources that one can rightly use (come on wife, finish RN school, come on wife, finish RN school!) - but powers and abilities stay the same. Something to remember next time Satan wants you to throw your Office around like a club over people.

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