Put Yourself in Your Pastor’s Shoes

By Gary Piper of Fort Gratiot, Michigan, USA

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  Luke 6:36

Community of Christ pastors have a great deal of responsibility. Like an iceberg, many roles of the pastor are below the surface, where they cannot be seen, only experienced. From time to time we need to remember some important vulnerabilities of a pastor.

Pastors are not superhumans. They have families, which are important to them. Your family is important to the pastor, as well. Many Community of Christ pastors also have full-time jobs outside the church. Pastors do not have all the answers. Believe it or not, they even make mistakes!

It may amaze you to learn that pastors are not all things to all people. They can get frustrated. I’ve even known pastors to get sick, now and then. Pastors have feelings and need to get away for a healthy rest. Unless it’s urgent, don’t call them while they’re on one of their rare vacations.

Here’s where you come in: Pastors need to be encouraged and loved. They need to be forgiven. Never forget them and other church leaders in your prayers. Your pastor needs you as much as you need your pastor!

One of the greatest struggles of a pastor is how to make the best use of time. Of all the members of the congregation the pastor has perhaps the most potential for being fragmented, pulled this way and that. The pastor also is the person in greatest need of help. So now you know your job.

Prayer for Peace:

Merciful God, we would be merciful, too. Let us put ourselves in the shoes of our leaders. Let us follow them on the road to peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Examining God’s Call to Me and to All

Each day this week reflect on God’s call in your life. Begin by prayerfully asking to recall particular moments when you have experienced God’s presence and invitation. Write in your journal or quietly reflect on images and insights that come.

When has God seemed most real in your life? How and when has God called you to use your energies and gifts? When have you felt most deeply connected and responsive to God’s movement in your life? When have you felt disconnected or resistant to God’s call? How do your gifts and callings connect with the call of God you notice in your family members, friends, congregation, or community?

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will work side by side with my congregational leaders and show them support.

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