I’ve known lots of pastors like you over my life. Your work has always been difficult, but recently it may have become tougher to fulfill your sense of purpose. Maybe you and I can step back here, and remember together what God offers to the world because of your vocation. That calling may be hard to describe, but it’s work that’s vital to fulfilling God’s will right now.
You bring God’s wisdom to the people you serve. Many of us are frazzled beyond words, unsure of what’s true or what’s ahead. We’re pushed and pulled in a zillion directions, and so our sense of identity might be battered and bruised. That’s where you come in. Your training and experience—your character and your skills—make you uniquely suited to ferret out and share what we need: Connection to what’s beyond ourselves. Links to the useful insights that God’s words and Word bring to everyday existence.
You’re good at caring for us, attending to the needs that present themselves at your digital doorstep. We understand that you’re not going to solve all of our problems or save us from our perhaps-unwise decisions. But you’re going to be there, present in one way or another. You’ll nudge us to find the words we’ve lost and the silences we need. Calming and assuring, you’ll help us make sense out of what seems totally chaotic. Adding judgement to our situations, offering humor when it’s in short supply, binding us to each other.
However imperfectly, you practice what you preach. Your example—not quite “little Christ” but close enough—encourages us to stretch past our own sins and inadequacies. We know about following Jesus because we can see that in you.
You help hold together our congregations. Perhaps not as well-oiled, perfectly functioning enterprises, but as bands of hardy stewards of God’s gifts and mission. Somehow these places keep functioning, not because you do all the work, but because you trust us to love these assemblies of believers as much as you do.
You’re fierce, insistent, courageous and prophetic. You see out ahead of whatever’s dragging us down and help us travel over the next hill. Toward the ultimate good we all want to accomplish. In a phrase, you are a key factor in God’s continuing redemption and rescue!
I’ve used up my share of your time today, so let me stop here. One more thing: Those of us who know you as “our pastor” pray for you every day.
We hope you can feel it….
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