Friday, December 28, 2007

A New Woe!

At the risk of being slightly blashphemous. . .

You have heard many woes said - but I say unto all y'all pastors. . .

Woe unto you who wore Superman pajamas or played around as Batman when you were little, for you will always be disappointed as a Pastor!

Alright Brown - it wasn't that witty or funny. Get to the point quickly please. Alright, here it goes. We like to be heroes. While my wife and I got the game Rock Band, we could have easily purchased Guitar Hero. Either way - imagine you are a star and the focus is on you. Or, with the Superhero idea - imagine you sweep in and save the day.

Pastors are not heroes.

"What are you saying, I should be a hero to my people, they should emulate me!" Why should they do that, you arrogant cad? Are you to be the focus of your church? Shall they sing to you, "Then sings my Church, the cult that follows me, how great I am, how great I am"? The focus of all that you do is to be upon Christ the Crucified - draw not attention to yourself!

"But, I have heroic fights, I can save my congregation from careening off into (false doctrine/ contemporary worship/ bitter feuding/ just being general schmucks/ being tacky dressers/ not knowing the difference between a patten and a pyx/ thing of the day)" Don't classify everything as a massive battle or struggle - well, at least not against your parishioners. We do battle the forces of darkness --- even if they don't pay or treat you well, this does not refer to your people. You are to lead them, calmly and gentlily.

Pastor is not the word for hero - it is the word for Shepherd - one who quietly leads his sheep where they need to be, and that's it. And if we have dreams of fighting the dream fight - we will only be disappointed - and we probably won't be doing our jobs.


Mike Baker said...

Homo incurvatus in se

To quote a truly wise and beloved LCMS pastor:

"The pastoral office is not the stuff of officers and generals. It is true grunt work. It is a daily call to receive your orders and slug it out in the trenches. It isn't glamorous and sometimes it is downright thankless. But even in those times it has to be done and someone has to do it. I can't tell you how many pastors forget that."

This problem extends to all Christians regardless of their vocation. Sometimes I think that there is a market for Bibles with mirrors on the front covers because pretentious Christians love to see themselves as God's gift to man.

Doorman-Priest said...

At last: permission not to be a hero. I was always destined to be Robin to someone else's Batman anyway. Sigh.