Here’s to the Real Pastors among us!
- The guy who looks out on Sunday morning and sees the SBC median and average and below attendance, or no more than a couple hundred souls. That’s about as many as the Senior/Lead/Top Dawg Pastor can actually pastor.
- The guy whose membership and community, when someone asks who the pastor is of his church, replies with his name only. God bless all the associates, assistants, age-category sub-pastors but THE pastor is one dude, called by God to shepherd the entire group of people who identify as “___________ Baptist Church.” I’ll make allowances for the generic church names here.
- The guy who, when there’s a crisis among any in the membership, is ultimately looked to for pastoral care.
- The guy who cannot designate a sub-pastor as the one for membership to call on his day off. He probably doesn’t have a day off anyway.
- The guy who, when he goes on vacation, cannot blithely tell his church not to bother him but rather call his designated sub-pastor.
- The guy who doesn’t get sabbaticals but ought to.
- The guy who doesn’t get a free month off in the summer.
- The guy who is ultimately responsible to The Almighty for caring for the flock, regardless of the presence of lay leaders, volunteers, assistants or anyone else who has the term “pastor” appended to his title.
- The guy who is probably single staff anyway without an entourage. Someone ought to write a book about “The Nekkid Pastor” and expand on this. Maybe again, they shouldn’t.
- The guy who, although he isn’t serving at the whim of a Senior Pastor, probably at least once during his career serves at the whim of recalcitrant and obstreperous deacons, matriarchs, patriarchs, hotheads, and troublemakers. He will survive, though maybe not in the same church.
- The guy who can’t farm out his sermons to a sermon service because people expect to hear his word from God, not some third party research outfit or consultant.
- The guy who, when he has to, takes out the trash…at the church. I assume all humble pastors do that at home.
- The guy who isn’t on training wheels as an assistant and who is not expecting to move “up” in The Ministry.
- The guy who decided to pastor one church at a time and do his best. He gave up trying to pastor his last church or churches and the next, hopefully bigger church. “This is the church God wants me to pastor,” he thinks and says.
- The guy who doesn’t use the congregation as a tool to get him into a denominational job or position.
- …and a lot of other stuff that Real Pastors already know without having to be told.
Hope 2022 is great for you. Love the Lord. Love your church.
[And Go Dawgs! But my optimism is tempered.]