Sunday, January 3, 2016

Pastoring Now

"Most of us feel a need for change. New Year’s seems like a good time for resolve. We threw away the old calendar. We’d like to toss some old habits as easily. Not a bad way to think, and there’s biblical precedent for doing it on New Year’s and other times, like…
Yesterday that paragraph was posted by Pastor Paul Anderson on his blog. You can read the rest of the article "What About Those Resolutions" by clicking this link.

Those who have followed this blog in the past, and those who have known me for several years, know that I served as a pastor for many years until last summer. That's when things changed.*

It was in my role as a pastor that I started writing this Sharing Ministry and Faith blog. Pastor Paul Anderson writes in his pastor role too, though his sphere of influence goes far beyond the house church and young adult community he works with. Young and older men and women come to him regularly seeking his prayers and his wisdom. I've gone to him for the same reason. I've appreciated the chance to share with him, to pray with him, and to listen to what he has to say.

Do you have a pastor? Is there someone you go to when you're in need of advice or prayer? If so, what do you hope for when you do? When I've talked with Pastor Paul, or when I've gone to others who have been pastors to me, whether officially in that role or not, I share with them personally, sometimes speaking with them about deeply sensitive subjects. Then, if the "pastor" is doing his or her work well, they point me toward God's wisdom, not their own.

In yesterday's writing about "new years' resolutions" Paul Anderson encourages us to trust God, even saying words like this: "God, I am trusting you to work in me..." pointing toward Jesus: "...The gospel is good news, not good advice. Jesus came because we couldn’t change. If we could, no cross is needed. God works from the inside out, not by grit but by the Holy Spirit..."

If you don't have a pastor, ask God to lead you toward someone who will do for you what Paul does for us in yesterday's blog. The good thing about going to someone who is an "official" pastor is that he or she is probably held accountable to be safe, to be able to "keep confidential" what it is you share with him or her. Non-professional Christians who don't have the official "pastor" title can, if you ask around, have a well-earned reputation as trustworthy friends. Beyond that, what you want is someone who will point you straight to God as your source of wisdom and advice.

Pastors, official or not, should pray with you, going together with you to the Lord. I am willing to do that with you, even though I'm not officially in a pastor role right now. I am still on a "clergy roster" so I am accountable to others. (I need to update my listing... the church organization I'm affiliated with still lists me as in Cokato!)

Pastor Paul Anderson has asked me to start a small group for young men. I plan to do that soon, along with my bus driving and other responsibilities.

But the main thing I can, and will, do is to pray with you, seeking God's way for your life.

Peace to you my brothers and sisters.


* If you're not familiar with the journey, you can look back at entries like "Confident in God's Good Future and others written since then. 

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