The Pastor’s Job Description

Posted: May 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
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I was reading a book that I picked up for free the other day, and this book was worth every penny. It’s called Ir-rev-rend, and it was written by a pastor of a large church in South Carolina. He had good intentions in writing the book. He says he wanted to tell stories and help people in their faith. I think he was trying let people know that pastors are real people by telling cute stories that were supposed to be funny. Overall, I did not think the book was funny, cute, or faith-building. It had a few good stories, but I don’t think it would help someone in their Christian faith because I don’t remember him talking about Jesus or the gospel at all. 

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One of the worst stories in the book was when he mentioned that he did not like to tell people that he was a pastor whenever they asked him what he did for a living. I can relate to what he was saying. It’s interesting because some people will clam up when they find out I’m a pastor, some will take a more defensive posture, and some will start sharing stuff with me that I never asked about. But no matter how people react, as pastors, we cannot apologize, gloss over, or even misrepresent what we do. The author of the book “joked” that his response to such a questions is to respond by saying that he is a “behavior modification specialist who does weekend lectures.” As I think about my calling as a pastor, I don’t even think for a second that I would come up with an answer (even jokingly) such as this. In my short time as a pastor, I have come to realize that I cannot change anyone’s behavior. Granted, maybe I could make a rule and force people to follow it for a short time. But I have not modified their behavior long term or have changed their heart at all. Only God can do that through the Holy Spirit. Secondly, when pastors preach they are not giving a lecture, but rather proclaiming the good news about Jesus Christ through God’s Word. I understand that his answers and much of this book was written in a light hearted manner. But after reading this book, it makes me wonder if other pastors sincerely focus on changing people’s behavior by giving a lecture instead of preaching God’s Word to affect people’s hearts. 

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