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The Christian and His Pastor

April 2, 2012
Pastor and blogger William Dudding recently wrote an article entitled, “Christians don’t want to be pastored.” He begins thusly:
One of the things that makes a pastors job so hard is that most people don’t want you to do your job. This is why there is so much turn over in the ministry. Pastors are brought on by churches to fill the pulpit and officiate weddings, funerals and other ceremonies, but they are rarely able to oversee, reprove, rebuke, admonish and correct people. It has been my experience thus far after about four years of pastoral ministry that most people want a pastor but don’t want to be pastored. They don’t want you to shepherd them or oversee them unless it’s something that they already agree with you about. They want you to keep a safe distance from them and only come close when they are in the hospital or need a ride to the airport. When their behavior is out of line, they don’t want you meddling with their business. Even those who call you for counsel are not really looking for you to confront their sin and correct them. They want you to affirm the decision that they are already bent on making and if you don’t, they find creative ways to tell you why they will go to another church. This is discouraging and makes ministry a real drag.
He goes on to offer suggestions to pastors to encourage them to minister faithfully and Biblically despite the challenges faced. I want to turn his perspective around and challenge church members. Are you willing to be pastored? I think most pastors would agree that the majority of the members of their church do not truly want a pastor to get involved with their lives to the point of offering correction or confrontation. This is frustrating, since that is at the core of the call to shepherd. Shepherding has far less to do with providing weekly lectures to the flock than it does with carefully walking with the flock through all the circumstances of life. We all want a pastor who will affirm our decisions, encourage us in difficulties and pray with us when we are hurting. How many of us want a pastor to sit at the kitchen table with us and  challenge our parenting, confront our neglect of the Word or call out our disobedience? Sounds great for everyone else, but most of us don’t want that pastor sitting in my house telling me I need to change the way I treat my neighbor. The command to pastors is to reprove, rebuke and exhort, whether it is popular or not. That absolutely means in the pulpit and it also means in your living room. Will you let him?

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