It’s important to understand the dysfunctions at church as systems. We know this. Most of us learn this in seminary. But then we get caught up in things, and it all feels so personal. So it’s good to remind ourselves of the reasons why systemic thinking makes sense.
Ministry is incarnationally specific. Pastors are called to see their place and people with God's "lover's eye," and to love them for their particularity.
David Keck offers a refreshing addition to the conversation about vocational expectations. Eugene Peterson’s vision of holiness resonates with Keck, but Keck takes a different tack.
There’s no feeling quite as depressing as a line of connection being suddenly cut short. Ministers have this sensation a lot. We’re often lonely in a crowded room.
“You have to grow tougher skin, Carol,” my colleague told me when I invited him to lunch and asked for his advice on a church matter. I inhaled deeply. That was the same response I heard repeatedly for the first ten years of my pastorate. Whenever I got frustrated, well-meaning friends and colleagues would tell me that I needed to miraculously grow some sort of Teflon epidermis.
Right now, there are a lot of pastors who ought to be looking in the mirror and chanting, “It’s not all about me.”