POOR IN SPIRIT. BROKEN. HUMBLE. HUNGRY. SYMPATHETIC. PURE. RECONCILING. ENDURING.
These are not the words that describe the typical picture of the modern-day successful American pastor, but these are the words Jesus said should characterize the lives of his twelve disciples. In many circles, the image of what a pastor is or does looks nothing like the picture Jesus paints for his disciples of the character that marks citizens of his kingdom.
Shepherding like Jesus is a call to rebel against much of what our culture understands pastoral leadership to be and return to being the shepherd God has called pastors to be. It’s an invitation to recover the most essential element of pastoral ministry: the character of Christ.
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You don’t deserve to be a pastor. Even though it was years ago, I can remember him whispering it in my ear as clearly as though it happened a moment ago. In the intervening month between when I accepted the call to serve a church in New Mexico as pastor and when I actually began serving, I heard him say it again and again. When I woke up in the morning, I heard it. When I had spare moments in the day, I heard it. When I laid my head on the pillow at night, I heard it.
You’re not qualified. You’re a failure. If people knew who you really are, they would never follow you. You don’t have what it takes.
The enemy plagued me for a month in a severe time of spiritual attack. I could not understand it, so I called one of my mentors and we met for lunch. I asked him what I should do. Should I call the church back and tell them I can’t come? Are all these things Satan is telling me true?
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