In the last post of this series I mentioned how pastors are always being watched which makes this next post even harder. When I started to pastor it took me nearly a year before I wouldn’t make excuses when someone would introduce me as such. I had a false image of what it meant to be a pastor and therefore felt unqualified to carry the title. Here are some of the misconceptions of the calling that I had.
- Knows more about the Bible than anyone else. – I hadn’t attended bible college (still haven’t) and knew many in the congregation that could run theological circles around me.
- Doesn’t sin. – Me? I sin. I sin all the time and I hate that about myself. How can I call myself a pastor with this problem?
- Always has the answer. – I don’t have the answers for a whole bunch of things. I guess a lot. 😉
- Never has doubts, only faith. – I have faith but I deal with quite a bit of doubt as well. I act on faith everyday even though I am scared stiff by doubt.
It took me a long time to realize that as a pastor God did not call me to be perfect but a leader. A leader leads. I know that sounds a little over simplistic but let me explain. Many times as a leader I am simply called to encounter things first and then help navigate through them. Sometimes that means I sin first but hopefully that means I repent first as well. Then I can navigate others through that sin struggle to repentance and finally freedom. Sometimes that means I don’t have an answer because I was the first to ask the question. Sometimes that means someone else asks the question first and I am plunged into unknown territory seeking answers. As a leader, it’s not about whether or not I have been there before but whether or not I am willing to go there now and bring others with me.
The point is that I am weak more often than I am strong. I am frail more often than I am indestructible. But I am a leader and a pastor not because of who I am but because of who Christ is.