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The Pastor’s Study Is Not a Bunker

Gregory the Great taught me not to retreat to the prayer room unless I have engaged the battles of the day.
The Pastor’s Study Is Not a Bunker
Image: Luke Chesser / Unsplash

Gregory the Great lived and recommended a Christian discipleship that is both active and contemplative. He argued and modeled that the Christian life has two poles and pulls, each of which is essential to faithfulness before God and usefulness to others. The one draws us to God—“Come unto me all ye”; the other sends us out—“Go ye into the all the world.”

Gregory’s life and work invite every Christian to think about discipleship and ministry. Is my primary duty to contemplate God or to serve humanity? The tension is heightened for those whom Christ calls to lead his people. Pastors may struggle to know whether the contemplative or active life is more foundational for their leadership of God’s people. Some of us are by nature more easily disposed to one or the other. Our training may pull us more in one direction than the other. At times a particular calling may require us to attend more to contemplation than action, or vice versa. By the end ...

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