Who Is the Pastor?


It’s a well-used word within the Protestant-evangelical community. And we have all sorts of ideas of what a pastor is, or at least should be.

He’s the guy (and, yes, male only, some would say) who delivers the 45-minute homily every Sunday morning (or 50 our 52 Sundays). Or he is to make sure doctrinal purity is maintained within the church, in accordance with biblical standards. Or she’s the one who visits the sick in the hospital or home. Or he or she make the direction and vision known to the church. Or she is the one to implement different programs that the members would like to see within the church community. O, problem of all problems, the pastor functions as the CEO of a corporate-esque entity.

And there are probably a host of other ideas out there.

But, as I was recently reading J.R. Briggs’ Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure, which I reviewed here, there was a very brief statement that caught my attention. It spoke of the main responsibility of a pastor. This was not Briggs’ own thought, but rather the relaying of words from long-time pastor, Eugene Peterson: Continue reading

The F-Word for Pastors – “Fail” by J.R. Briggs

Fail JR BriggsFirst off, I’d like to thank the kind folk of IVP for a review copy of J.R. Briggs’ newest release, Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure. It’s always a pleasure to receive such gifts!

J.R. Briggs serves as Cultural Cultivator of The Renew Community, a Jesus community for skeptics and dreamers – based in Landsdale, PA. He also serves as Director of Leadership & Congregational Formation with The Ecclesia Network. Even more, he’s becoming most known for creating the Epic Fail Pastors Conference and now the penning of this new book.

Failure is not an easy word for pastors. Well, that’s probably true of most people! Of course, when many think of failure for pastors, their mind might typically imagine some grave moral failure. And, though, such is true at times, it is a small slice compared to the greater reality that pastors deal with concerning failure. Continue reading

Pastors Need Your Care – Part 2

pastoral-care-imageAs I shared on Tuesday, Kevin DeYoung’s blog hosted a 2-part series called, Pastors Need Your Care. It comes from guest blogger, Jason Helopoulos.

Part 1 was on the theme: How members of the church can care for their pastors. Today, I post about the second and final articleHow elders (or leadership teams) can care for their pastors.

Again, we must carry in our heart this all-important reality: caring shepherds also need us to care for them.

As I said in the previous post, I am aware that we might not agree with everyone (not all churches are able to ‘hire more staff’). But take these to heart, even re-applying some of the points in different ways for your church context.

So here are the points highlighted of how members can care for their pastors: Continue reading

Pastors Need Your Care – Part 1

pray-for-pastorOver at Kevin DeYoung’s blog, I found two very interesting posts around the title, Pastors Need Your Care, by guest blogger, Jason Helopoulos. There is a part 1 and part 2.

Today, I am posting the subject of part 1How members of the church can care for their pastors.

I can only encourage us all to realise how important this truly is: that the people of God also care for their shepherds. Such people need as much care as any other (if not more?).

I am aware that we might not agree with every point. But there is enough here to chew on to help us understand how to faithfully love, care for, serve and bless the shepherds whom God has given to us.

So here are the points highlighted of how members can care for their pastors: Continue reading

The Contemplative Pastor

I have a newer favourite author. In the past, I have appreciated the writings of devotional writers like John Eldredge and Larry Crabb. I currently enjoy the theological writings of NT Wright and Scot McKnight. But one author who has made a move up my list is that of Eugene Peterson.

Even now, I’m finishing up his work The Contemplative Pastor. It’s only the third title I’ve read of his, but every time I engage with one of his books, I walk away a better man of God, a better pastor, a more focused human being in the image of our Father. Continue reading