About Jesus Steve Sweetman
recently attended my father-in-law's funeral.
His name is Ken. The
Evangelical pastor who conducted the service did a pretty good job
preaching the gospel. There
was, however, one thing he said that caught my attention.
pastor told us that he was Ken's pastor for the last few years, although
he admitted that he didn't know Ken all that well.
He would briefly speak with Ken as they shook hands after the
Sunday morning meeting. The
pastor said that once Ken was too ill to "go to church", he
had church at home in front of his TV set.
Because Ken's illness prevented him from "going to
church", the pastor lost any contact that he had with Ken, even if
it was only a hand shake. These
words spoke volumes concerning how this pastor understood both church
Timothy 3:4 and 5 compares a pastor to a "caring father".
It's clear to me that Ken's pastor did not view himself as a
"caring father", but rather a preacher, even though he called
himself a pastor. Such an
approach to pastoring is
pretty common these days. We
tend to major on the pulpit, not the people.
suggest a caring father does more than preach on a Sunday morning.
If you read Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, you'll see
Paul to be a good example of a pastor who cares for people.
The whole letter is about his relationship to the people in the
Corinthian church. Paul's
heart was aching for those people. He
shed many tears, and experienced sleepless nights due to the stresses
affecting their relationship. I'm
convinced Paul would have visited the bedside of a sick man.
sure Ken's pastor is a nice guy, but his approach to pastoring is a sad commentary on the
modern day pastor. I
remember a time when pastors came to our homes to visit and pray.
We've gotten pretty clinical in our approach to pastoring these
days. If you want to see
your pastor, you phone his secretary and book an appointment.
You arrive at the pastor's office.
You sit in the waiting room.
You get called into his office and sit in a chair and converse
with a man behind his desk. I
know this isn't always the case, and I know times change, but I believe
we're too clinical and businesslike in our approach to pastoring.
all areas of church life, we should return to Biblical Christianity.
A Dow Jones Corporation is not something on which to model the
Body of Christ. The church
is a body of people, not a business.
Pastoring is not a career choice where you work your way up the
ladder to success. It's a
calling from our Lord Jesus Christ where you work your way down the ladder to
serve God's people.