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I'm Not Able to Use My Gifts

How do I maintain a sense of pastoral vocation in a community of people who hire me to do religious jobs?
Eugene H. Peterson

One of the worst years I ever had was in the early days of this church," recalls Eugene Peterson. "I realized I wasn't being a pastor. I was so locked into running the church program I didn't have time to be a pastor.

"The precipitating event was when one of my kids said, 'You haven't spent an evening at home for thirty-two days.' She had kept track! I was obsessive and compulsive about my administrative duties, and I didn't see any way to get out of the pressures that were making me that way. So I went to the Session one night and said, 'I quit.'

"'I'm out all the time; I'm never at home,' I said. 'I'm doing all this administrative work, serving on all these committees, and running all these errands. I want to preach; I want to lead the worship; I want to spend time with people in their homes. That's what I came here to do. I want to be your spiritual leader; I don't ...

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