Sunday, November 05, 2006

Desktop Confessionals

I used to hate the word "pastor." Even during my first 3 years of undergrad while studying for ministry, I simply could not stand the idea of that word being attached to me. But you know, maybe that feeling was not so odd. I mean who wants to be called the very thing that has seemed irrelevant for the millions of thoughtful people who reject being part of the Church? Who wants to spend a good 20 hours preparing a message that must be spoken and heard through a forest of yawns? Who wants to accept the title that also describes people who have exalted themselves only to hurt people in the end through verbal, emotional, and even sexual abuse? The idea of "pastor" seemed completely irrelevant and even ugly to me for a while, but not any more. So I ask: who would be willing to accept the title of a hurtful and seemingly irrelevant group of people? God.

God in humility allowed "human" to be attached to Godself. When we read Jesus saying things like "The Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost," we could read it (with integrity) "The Human has come to seek and save the lost." When humans are killing and cheating each other for the sake of selfish gain (hurtful and irrelevant to Life), God becomes flesh (human) and accepts this title/being for the sake of redeeming it. I currently attend a church in which I am experiencing the position/title of pastor being redeemed. My pastors--Mindy and Josh--are a married couple probably around 27 years old. Their care for the church is not simply that we would grow or that we would feel good. They are patiently calling the church to be faithful disciples--potentially martyrs--for the Kingdom. Sermons are intentionally creative but only as much to let the Message lead and be heard. And leadership is available for all and in many ways demanded. This isn't a church growth method. Actually our church is committed to being small--about 75 people. If we get to 100, people are encouraged to leave and start a new small church. Our church doesn’t claim nor govern any of these new churches. Well all of this is to say: I don't hate the word "pastor" anymore. I know this because I am willing to be one if God leads me that way. But if that is where I'm led, I hope to be there redemptively. Thanks, Mindy and Josh.

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