Church & Culture
Pastor as Coach and Shepherd? Yeah, Right. (From a Real FB Convo)
When someone sneers "A pastor that helps you define anything other than who would lead a committee! HA! Good one," let's listen before responding.

This is as far as the conversation had gone when I was made aware of it.

The Pastor People Want and Need

Challenging. Frustrating. Real. Sad.

That’s what hit me as I read my friend’s Facebook stream.

Then I added this:

“What you’ve described sounds like what I do every day as a pastor. Anyone who thinks pastors don’t do that any more may need to find a church with a pastor like you’ve described. We’re not hard to find. There are a lot of us. And it’s interesting that the only other person on this thread who I know is a pastor, was the one who gave you a well-deserved two-word answer, ‘preach, brother!’

“I probably don’t do it as well as your dad did, but your description of him is what a lot of us ascribe to be. We’re not just CEOs and administrators who give pat answers. In fact, a lot of us have tried that route and have found it wanting, so we’ve taken the mentor/coach route instead.

That was followed quickly by this, from a new person:

“What an interesting thread. Makes me appreciate how blessed we’ve been for all the great pastors in our lives who have truly had the gift of pastoring, not just the title.”

Makes me appreciate how blessed we’ve been for all the great pastors in our lives.

Then someone else came in with these words of affirmation:

“While I think pastors at times fall short of the mark, it’s also easy for lay people to point elsewhere rather than answering the call to be the same. That’s what the footprint, the aroma, the life of the church is supposed to be wherever we are – and many pastors and believers are doing just that.

“What would it be like if the world around us was continually amazed and commenting on the life of churches in communities everywhere, because this was the exact perception?”

The last time I checked, the last comment in the stream was this:

“Exactly, beautiful.”

What Can Pastors Learn From This?

What’s happening here?

My knee-jerk reaction is to say that this skepticism has happened because our corporate/rancher/pastor-as-CEO model has overtaken the relational/shepherd/pastor-as-caregiver model. That the shepherd model is not just a good-old-days longing, but the core need people seek from their church and pastor.

But I also know some great churches built on the pastor as CEO model, too.

So I don’t know what the answer is. But I do know this.

Conversations like this are worth having. And listening to. And learning from.

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December 10, 2016 at 3:57 AM

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