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Interview: Deepening Our Conversation with God (part 2)

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But sometimes we feel insecure about all there is to do. How does a pastor unlearn running out to do the urgent?

Foster: I was told in seminary that if I preached from the Old Testament, I should study the Hebrew text. If I preached from the New Testament, I should study the Greek text. I was told to spend time each week working on my sermon delivery. Pastoral counseling, they told me, is crucial to my ministry. I added up the time it takes to do all these things; the total was staggering. Once in the ministry, I found out quickly that those things might build churches, but they don't necessarily help people. I had to go back to square one and ask, "What am I to do?" The answer that came was "Love God and walk with him." Once the pastor is settled and centered on that, the guilt feelings are gone. Nouwen: It may well be that many pastors are insecure people, but that can be an asset as well as a liability. Insecure people need social contact. ...

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