Few have given clearer thought to the role of pastoral ministry than Eugene H. Peterson, professor of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and a pastor for more than three decades. Kevin A. Miller, editor of Leadership Journal, probed Peterson on the following subjects:
The pastor's first responsibility. My job as pastor is to call people to repent, deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Jesus. If I revise "Repent!" to "How can I help you get your life in order?" I'm turning away from the gospel. If I take out the "follow" part and say, "We'll find out how you can live your life best the way you define it," who needs Jesus?
Sometimes I feel like somebody carrying a sign around Times Square that says repent! I've been a pastor for 35 years, and I don't trust people one inch in defining what they need. We don't know ourselves. We need God to tell us what we need.
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