Apparently its Pastor appreciation month. I don’t know who, or which organisation chooses the topics and promotes the theme of appreciation, but it seems there is one that does so…
In light of this theme I thought I would reflect on what I believe the role of a pastor is.
I believe a pastor is to be a praying person within a community of relationship, teaching others to pray within relationship. This relationship has a three way dynamic aspect to it.
- Upwards. Our prayers, our devotions are towards our creator and sustainer of life. They directed towards our heavenly father through Jesus Christ.
- Inwards. We receive from two directions . 1.) From above we gain a new heart, a new perspective on life and a new empowering from God to walk in love. 2.) We receive from the community in which we live. This reception is one of mutual love and a sense of journey of working together for the common good within community.
- Outwards. Again this outwards direction has a twofold direction. 1.) we minister outwardly to those within our immediate community. This outward direction of living is within a mixture of listening and acceptance. It’s focus is one of encouragement in the reminder that God is for you and not against you 2.) We remind ourselves that we too are to encourage that God wants us to make known this great relationship we have with God to all outside our immediate community.
As a chaplain I have the privilege to be invited into and share in the heartache and pain of many who are ordinary yet at the same time extraordinary people. This pain drives me constantly to my knees to pray for them, that God will move powerfully in their lives and reveal himself to these people.
I am also reminded that God uses us to reveal himself to others. If our actions are those of condemnation and anger….that is how we represent God to others. If our actions are that of Love, concern and acceptance…then this also is how we will represent God to others.
This week I have been reading and praying through the 2nd book of Peter, particularly chapter 1 verses 5-9.
Do your best to improve your faith. You can do this by adding goodness, understanding, self-control, patience, devotion to God, concern for others, and love. If you keep growing in this way, it will show that what you know about our Lord Jesus Christ has made your lives useful and meaningful.
But if you don’t grow, you are like someone who is nearsighted or blind, and you have forgotten that your past sins are forgiven.
Getting back to the original title of this post. I believe that pastors need to earn the right to be appreciated… it should never be just a given. And the way we earn this right and privilege is in appreciating the journey of others; helping others in their journey of life within a upward, inward and outward direction.