Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Full Time Pastor, Part Time Christian

In the Spring edition of Leadership available through Christianity Today, pastor Craig Groeschel has written a transparent article about many of the struggles he faced as a young pastor and the temptation for pastors to become professionals. In his own words, he became a full time pastor but only a part time follower of Jesus Christ.

He bought the lie that many pastors buy, that they are called to be super-human showing no weakness. This is not the biblical picture of Christian leadership, this is the Americanized macho-facade to which many ministers for the past twenty-five years or so have clung.

Groeschel recounts the comments of one of his misguided seminary professors: "People think they want their pastors to be normal, everyday people," he told our class, "but they really don't. They want to see you as better than the average person. Church members want to believe your marriage is always strong, your faith never falters, and you are virtually without sin."

(Praise God I've never had a seminary professor suggest such blatent displays of misleading conduct.)

For many pastors they truly believe, "If they know I'm not perfect, they won't love me or they won't listen." But, as pastors, we need to all be reminded of the apsotle Paul who showed his weakness to all who would read his letters. How could he be so bold?

Paul knew that it was not his power or perfection that brough about salvation and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, it was the power of the Holy Spirit. Pastors, we are not to be professionals, as John Piper has written, we are to be sold out men of God first...pastors second. When we lose our walk with the Lord, we lose our ability to communicate His message effectively and with integrity.

Groeschel should be commended for writing with such honesty and with such wisdom about the scenario in which many other pastors find themselves. honest!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think some of the best sermons are those where pastors have been real & shown their struggles in circumstances, difficulties with sin, and problems in situations. While it is true that some would like to think their pastor is perfect, I think this is dangerous territory. Satan can use that to allow their faith to be more in their pastor rather than in their Lord and Savior. I personally value a pastor who is "real" more than one who is always right.