That’s the phrase I recently used to describe the kindness of a reader, someone whose character matches the traits and calling of so many pastors I have known. It occurs to me that the same description might match you. Some thoughts…
At their core, most pastors are kind and caring. Mixed into the various roles they take on—e.g., preacher, counselor, teacher, administrator—are those that transcend any job description. Pastors’ souls help them comprehend and make possible the greater good—for individuals, congregations and society-at-large. Like their namesake shepherds, pastors observe the world around them from a wider perspective. They scan horizons and listen carefully for what might be dangerous, and then they become protectors. They carry out vocational responsibilities that continue into any time, any space, any event. They support and build up people of all ages. They hold together disparate groups of sometimes-wandering individuals within committed and purposed communities of faith. They speak God’s truth in love.
Back to you. Looking at this blog’s list of subscribers, I realize again how many of you have the soul of a pastor. It might not be your profession or formal role, but pastoring is what you do. Sometimes that happens in your job or position—you may function essentially as a workplace chaplain—but it’s also present in every other part of your life. You may not be called formally to that role or those tasks, but at your center is the calling of pastor.
One more thing about you: If you’ve taken up this vocation because of your relationships with a called and ordained Servant of the Word, tell that person how she or he is an example and encouragement for your own pastoral ministry.
Your pastor will appreciate your thanks!
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