Archive for July, 2009

Could St. Francis have been a pastor?  How about Mother Theresa?   Was there something so uncompromising in their calling and conviction that would have gone against the very nature of the pastoral role which inevitably calls you to be compromising.  Sure, there are uncompromising pastors.  But they seem to build niche churches that only attract other zealots who agree with them perfectly.  They do not embrace the diversity of the body of Christ, but only those with identical gifts.   So what then is a pastor?  Does a pastor have to surrender his or her deepest convictions so that the church may be more inclusive?   Does a pastor inevitably end up losing that fire for God in order to be a consensus builder?

Or maybe the exact opposite is true when it comes to inclusivity?   Can someone like Francis or Theresa, who is not formally ‘in charge’ of the church, more fully represent God’s grace?  They can welcome in the drug addict, the heretic, and the sexual deviant.  Meanwhile, the pastor must be the guardian of truth and virtue, and protect the flock from these potentially harmful voices.  The unofficial prophet has no fear in letting the heretic have a voice.  The pastor is responsible to offer good teaching (and knows that he’ll have angry emails to answer on Monday morning if he does not).  So maybe exclusivity and inclusivity actually go the other way.

Maybe these are just confused ramblings.  Or maybe I’m tired of feeling like a politician or a PR person.  I welcome your thoughts…


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