Ministering to pastors: Coupling self-assurance with “I don’t know”

I spend my days talking with pastors.  I hope it is the love of Christ that compels me to care deeply for those with whom I meet.  Even though I know I have a gift for what I do, it doesn’t mean I never feel inadequate.  After all, I am not an expert on Pastor John’s life.  Pastor John is.  But there is one thing about which I have a growing certainty:  Love is the greatest force in the world, even stronger than death.   The pastors I meet with need love, acceptance and validation more than they need direction, counseling or good ideas, all of which I am sure they also need!

The more pastors I meet with — from so many and diverse denominations — the more I am willing to embrace the deep mysteries of faith.  And that compels me to hold pretty lightly what it is that I think I know. Throughout my week I listen to pastors telling me what is going on in their lives — often their woes, but also their “wins” and very frequently their very sincere questions.  Sometimes the only thing I can think to do is pray that God will fill me with a deep, abiding wisdom and understanding to know who I am and what it is I’m called to do.

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