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Most pastors suffer the occasional bout of low self-esteem. Especially on the Mondays when we drink the blackest coffee we can find while we re-examine our calling.

Insufficient, inadequate, incapable, unnecessary—the pastorate has a way of making us wonder if we're really suited for this kind of leadership.

These feelings of insignificance, however, stem from a misunderstanding of what true leadership is. Having superficially trained ourselves on the burgeoning, popular leadership lore, we tend to prize our lives most when we see ourselves becoming powerful and influential—or in other words, becoming "necessary" to the churches we serve.

Eugene Peterson and Marva Dawn present a simpler, two-step philosophy of true success in their book, The Unnecessary Pastor (Eerdmans, 2000).

First, pastors should become Christ-centered.

Second, Peterson and Dawn advocate "just being there," helping God happen to the world, without needing to be the fulcrum of His work.

Peterson quotes Henri Nouwen ...

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