The Lutheran Handbook for Pastors

The Lutheran Handbook for Pastors

Someone asked me what does it feel to be a pastor?  I suddenly realized that I had a pause before I tried to give an answer.  It’s nice to be asked the question, but how many are ready to hear the answers – the honest answers – not sugar coated ones.  Not many would have the stomach to swallow what I could have said, but then there are a minority who would somehow be able to appreciate what I would have said.   In short, I didn’t manage to say much… but then again, there will be another time. πŸ™‚

What a delight to get a New Year and Christmas present which was hidden in the boot of May Chin’s car.  I think it’s a kick to start blogging about books again. πŸ™‚ Many thanks to the one and only Saudara B for this … he should have spent the money on himself… but then he made the gift more precious by his sacrificial sharing.

I quickly glanced through the table of contents … the chapter on “How to avoid becoming the pastor you swore you’d never be and become the pastor you always wanted to be” grabbed my attention.  I’ll pick a few lines which stood out πŸ™‚

“Do …take the gospel to your listeners by saying ‘for you,’ as ‘Jesus loves you’ and ‘Jesus died for you.’ “(p.21)

The first time I really appreciated the statement above is when I sat under the guidance of Homiletic professor Dr.Richard A. Jensen’s preaching classes as well as those wonderful conversations when I drove him around in the van!

“Don’t … Worry too much about keeping people happy. The word ‘happy’ appears nowhere in your letter of call, and this doesn’t just apply to you yourself.” (p.22)

While I agree this is true and is something I need to hear again and again, the reality is often it’s written on the hidden expectations of members or those pastors come into contact with.  And the constant battle in the inner mind, is to remember that our role is not to keep people happy even if this is what they want.  There are more important things on God’s mind than our happiness. Some say it’s about becoming holy, perhaps the better way of saying it is to become whole.  But that takes time too.

“Do … Remember the difference between who you serve and who you work for.  You serve the congregation, but you work for God.” (p.22)

This is the kind of statement which is good for me to start the year with.  And will last a lifetime!

“Do … Be real. It’s okay to be a human being. Relax. Play. Life is short.

… Have a life.  That’s what Christ has freed you for. Know your family. Stay healthy.

… Pick one time management tool and use it.”  (p.23)

I’m pretty settled in for the first statement above πŸ™‚ The “stay healthy” bit is something to work on again and again. As for time management tool … the final lap of last year has been great when I stumbled upon  GTD and ZTD.

it’s simple stuff … but stuff people like us … or pastors like need to hear unceasingly.

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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