Saturday, October 6, 2012

11 reflections on 2 years of being a Pastor

After a whole 2 years as a Pastor, I've been reflecting on some of the things I've been learning. I realise that may sound ridiculous (just 2 years?) but I've got some. So I'm going to list them.

Here're a few tentative reflections:

1) A pastor's job can be the best and worst possible job in the world. At the same time.

2) The best ministry I've done has been an expression of the ministry God has been doing in me. The worst ministry I've done has been an expression of the ministry I am doing for myself.

3) The single, biggest inhibitor to the growth of any ministry are the self-deceptions of those leading it.

4) Intellect does not equal godliness. Nor lack of it. In fact, intellect is no barometer of godliness at all. Some of the smartest people I've met are some of the most foolish. And same with some of the less-intellectually-able people I've met. And vice versa. I hope that makes sense...

5) Lots of people ask to be told the truth in one-on-one conversations. But few really want to hear it.

6) Self-discipline is the single, biggest lack among us pastors.

7) Most of the time, when we think we are finally beginning to ask ourselves the really tough questions, we are barely scratching the surface.

8) Pastoral work can be incredibly isolating. But it can also be incredibly refreshing.

9) Pastors are always dealing with some people for whom 'they are the best of times' and with some for whom 'they are the worst of times'. On any given day you can be dealing both with people of tremendous grief and amazing joy. Changing gears suddenly can be difficult. Exhilarating. Sometimes both.

10) One struggle for a pastor is to be relationally differentiated and personally integrated as a man following Jesus; whereas the constant temptation of his work is to relationally disengage (or overengage) and personally compartmentalise.

11) Perception is not reality. Despite the overwhelming testimony of our culture, reality always trumps perception in the long term. Now, perhaps more than ever, man looks at outward appearances. The pressure for pastors to do the same is incredible. But God looks at the heart.


  1. Scary.

    You lost me with 10. What does that all mean?

    1. Sorry. I can see that's probably a bit confusing - too much meaning loaded into too few words. Channelling a book called 'The Leader's Journey' here. And mixing my Paul Tripp drinkies with a Dave Thurston winnie blue.