Monday, September 24, 2012

Avoid Becoming the Pastor You Swore You'd Never Be - Part V

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Here is the final post, part five, of this series, Avoid Becoming the Pastor You Swore You'd Never Be.  Here are the other four posts if you are interested, Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV.  From the pages of The Unofficial United Methodist Handbook for Pastors, p. 25.
You are a person. ('Fashion your life in accordance with [the] precepts [of the gospel of Jesus Christ]....)  Putting "The Reverand" in front of your name does not remove you from the list of human beings.  You eat, sleep, think of (and maybe act on) sex, get tired, and get bored.
  • Be phony.  You are holy only because Christ makes you holy.  He - not we- is, after all, the perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
  • Be one-dimensional.  There's more to life than church stuff.  For example, what was the last book you read that had nothing do do with church?  (This book, obviously, is an exception.  Not only should you read it eagerly but you should also give copies to your 100 closet friends.)
  • Have a life.  That's what Christ wants to give you abundantly (John 10:10b)  That's what Christ has freed you for.  Know your family.  Stay healthy.
  • Relax.  Play.  Life is short.
  • Find a time management tool that works for you.  It might be a book, a program, or a persistent friend who will nag you to the glory of God.

I love that last line, "nag you to the glory of God."  We pastors have egos but we need to be reminded that we put our pants on one leg at a time like everyone else, except for those who wear skirts...but you see what I am getting at.  I cannot stand it when I see a preacher who is a different person behind the pulpit than s/he is outside the church.  I'm not talking about those who have 'the preacher voice' but those who have the 'preacher persona'.  Get over it, you are human, you are like everyone else.  I think people can read right through that, so be yourself, always.

In ministry there is always work to be done, always something to do, always someone to go visit.  Some of it CAN wait till tomorrow in order for your kids to know you, your spouse to love you, and you to have a life.  

I appreciated this books reminder that as a minister, as an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, I am a preacher, pastor, priest, prophet and person.

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