Jump directly to the Content

Grating Expectations

I looked at the results of the spiritual gift inventory and gulped. The areas I'd scored highest in, preaching and discernment, came as little surprise; I enjoyed speaking and counseling. But way down the list were shepherding and mercy, two gifts associated with effective pastoring.

I had suspected for some time what the test confirmed. I was a good communicator, but I struggled with people skills. I lived for Sunday mornings but found visitation difficult to get motivated for.

But here I was, a pastor in a small church. The expectations leaned much more toward strong people skills and contact, and much less toward preaching and leadership. Why had God led me to such a position? What should I do? Should I stay in a job that seemed, by definition, to require a different person? Or was there room in the local church for pastors who weren't first and foremost shepherds?

Over time I discovered there is room for pastors who don't always fit the image of personable parson. But reaching it requires ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Rover's Spiritual Gifts
Rover's Spiritual Gifts
From the Magazine
‘Be Clean’: Jesus and the World of Ritual Impurity
‘Be Clean’: Jesus and the World of Ritual Impurity
These biblical commands rightly remind us about the significance of our bodies.
Editor's Pick
Visitation Is Still Our Vocation
Visitation Is Still Our Vocation
We may face new challenges, but the heart of our calling remains the same.