Friday, August 22, 2008

What it Means to be a Pastor

Over the last few weeks, I have been learning a great deal more about what it means to be a Pastor. In Seminary, while they try to prepare you for the realities of this call, you still tend to leave with this glossed over view of what real ministry is. It is in the excitement of FINALLY getting out into the "real world" to do "real ministry" that you can miss what exactly it really entails.

I am learning, albeit probably more quickly than I would like, that ministry has its ups/downs, joys/sorrows, peaceful moments/not-so-peaceful moments. I've discovered that learning about being a Pastor is not so much done through classes and reading, but must be done experientially. I've also learned that the greatest resource aside from prayer and the Gospel really is found in your colleagues.

One of the goals I have had throughout seminary and continue to carry with me into my first call is to continue the process of forming my pastoral identity. While I was able to get to the place where I actually wanted to be a pastor before graduation, I am continually molding and shaping what that means. Through the experiences I have had in the last three months, and through the experiences I will continue to have, my pastoral identity will grow and change.

Being a pastor is not a frilly, happy-go-lucky kind of job. It can be raw and difficult at one moment, then the next will be filled with complete joy. In both cases, I am finding as a pastor you can experience contentment, knowing you are serving in the places God has called you to serve. That contentment, however, does not always come easily or immediately.

While seminary attempts to prepare us for the realities of ministry, I really do not think that full preparation is possible. The tools they offered have certainly come into play and I am so thankful to have them. The reality of walking into any new career, however, can only be experienced through actually doing the work.

It can be fun, it can be difficult, it has challenged me in ways I never expected.


Sue said...

I am so sure that no one really understands "What it Means to be a Pastor." However, the many of us who have read from afar your journey to this point believe in you. We know that you will take every new challenge whether it is a celebration or a saddess and every feeling in between with a open heart and one filled with God's love.

Brown Family said...

No matter what happens, all of your experiences shall all work together for your good. During the trying times, remember that the Son of God descended below them all, and none of us are greater than He. Also remember that when you serve your fellow man, you are in the service of your God. What a great profession!!! :)

the Thomas team said...

YOu are so amazing! Thanks for sharing this too. I still cannot believe you came all the way to Christi's funeral. I pray Christi continues to watch over you from Heaven above if there is any way possible and to forever protect you and keep you safe. Thanks for all!!

Love, the Thomas team