Mark Stevens is a Church of Christ pastor in South Australia and team member of the New Emmaus Blog. He has just received and is reading Eugene Peterson’s memoirs and posts the following excerpt.
North American culture does not offer congenial conditions in which to live vocationally as a pastor. Men and women who are pastors in America today find that they have entered into a way of life that is in ruins. The vocation of pastor has been replaced by the strategies of religious entrepreneurs with business plans…I wanted my life both my personal life and my working life to be shaped by God and the Scriptures and prayer. [2011, p.4]
I also have a beef with the current leadership movement and was having a conversation with a fellow student yesterday about my passion for the return of the pastoral office. He told me that he was upset when doing a leadership course because the text book was a secular book and from that they learnt how to lead a church. … He was passionately disgusted in his telling me this story.
I have to say that I have seen and experienced great pastoring and really poor pastoring…and the poor pastoring had the emphasis on leadership…What do you think; is the pastoral office in tatters? And can we also replace North American Culture with Australian Culture…