18 June, 2007

How To Treat Your Pastor

This is an 'anonymous layman's' advice on how to treat your pastor:

1. Fling him into his office. Tear the “Office” sign from the door and nail on the sign, “Study.” Take him off the mailing list. Lock him up with his books and his typewriter and his Bible. Slam him down on his knees before texts and broken hearts and the flock of lives of a superficial flock and a holy God.

2. Force him to be the one man in our surfeited communities who knows about God. Throw him into the ring to box with God until he learns how short his arms are. Engage him to wrestle with God all the night through. And let him come out only when he’s bruised and beaten into being a blessing.
3. Shut his mouth forever spouting remarks, and stop his tongue forever tripping lightly over every nonessential. Require him to have something to say before he dares break the silence. Bend his knees in the lonesome valley.

4. Burn his eyes with weary study. Wreck his emotional poise with worry for God. And make him exchange his pious stance for a humble walk with God and man. Make him spend and be spent for the glory of God. Rip out his telephone. Burn up his ecclesiastical success sheets.

5. Put water in his gas tank. Give him a Bible and tie him to the pulpit. And make him preach the Word of the living God!

6. Test him. Quiz him. Examine him. Humiliate him for his ignorance of things divine. Shame him for his good comprehension of finances, batting averages, and political in-fighting. Laugh at his frustrated effort to play psychiatrist. Form a choir and raise a chant and haunt him with it night and day—“Sir, we would see Jesus.”

7. When at long last he dares assay the pulpit, ask him if he has a word from God. If he does not, then dismiss him. Tell him you can read the morning paper and digest the television commentaries, and think through the day’s superficial problems, and manage the community’s weary drives, and bless the sordid baked potatoes and green beans, ad infinitum, better than he can.

8. Command him not to come back until he’s read and reread, written and rewritten, until he can stand up, worn and forlorn, and say, “Thus saith the Lord.”

9. Break him across the board of his ill-gotten popularity. Smack him hard with his own prestige. Corner him with questions about God. Cover him with demands for celestial wisdom. And give him no escape until he’s back against the wall of the Word.

10. And sit down before him and listen to the only word he as left—God’s Word. Let him be totally ignorant of the down-street gossip, but give him a chapter and order him to walk around it, camp on it, sup with it, and come at last to speak it backward and forward, until all he says about it rings with the truth of eternity.

11.And when he’s burned out by the flaming Word, when he’s consumed at last by the fiery grace blazing through him, and when he’s privileged to translate the truth of God to man, finally transferred from earth to heaven, then bear him away gently and blow a muted trumpet and lay him down softly. Place a two-edged sword in his coffin, and raise the tomb triumphant. For he was a brave soldier of the Word. And ere he died, he had become a man of God.
Image: Duccio di Buoninsegna, The Calling of St. Peter and St. Andrew. 1308-11. Tempera on wood panel.


WatchingHISstory said...

When this beleagured man of God steps into pulpit to preach, he will not be met with acceptance but ridicule and criticism by the body. He will preach too emotionally, too long, step on people's toes. He will cater to the youth, the elderly, the rich.

He will be too loud or speak too softly. He will be too proud too humble.

Tithes will drop and attendance will fall off. Bloggers will tire him endlessly.

He will be forced to step down or retire early.

A pulpit committee will be formed to find a better suited pastor.

I've been there and done that and I am not the least impressed with this "How to treat your pastor"


John 15:18-25 (King James Version)

18If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

20Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

21But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.

22If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

23He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

24If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

25But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

Lin said...

Mr. Page, Your comments sound like a personal experience. I am sorry for you.

Jen said...

Lin, I saw where you got this and I think watchinghisstory missed the whole point of your post. I think it goes back to what Jean said on my blog to beware when a pastor starts writing a book. A pastor needs to spend his time focused on studying God's Word and smelling like his sheep. Period. If a pastor is truly dedicated to the truth of God's Word and to loving others, all that "stuff" will fall into place. Good post.

WatchingHISstory said...

Lin said...
Mr. Page, Your comments sound like a personal experience. I am sorry for you.

Didn't I say I've been there and done that. I appreciate your compassion unless your "sorry" meant pity. All personal experiences in Christ lead to strength and wisdom!

No, Jen, I didn't miss the point of the post.