Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ask the pastor: Why do you want to be a pastor?

The first question I received in my "Ask the Pastor" box is, "Why do you want to be a pastor?"

This is a difficult response to articulate, as I'm not real sure how to describe being a pastor as something to be "wanted". At it's foundation, the role of pastor is about trying to listen to what God wants as the ultimate goal, and following where God is calling, rather than doing what I want, comes with the territory of being a pastor.

To describe being a pastor in terms of a calling as opposed to being a career objective makes for a better fit. Being a pastor is a calling, mostly because I don't get to pick and choose who I'm a pastor to. Instead, I've been called to give people the truth of God's love, grace, justice, and peace, no matter who they are, what abilities they have, who they voted for, or how much they give. God's truth is shown to us in Jesus, so ultimately my calling, is to show Jesus to others.

While being a pastor is not necessarily about what I "want", that doesn't mean that I don't find joy in my call, and that I don't like doing it. I find being a pastor a great privilege and am grateful that I'm called to serve in this way. Here's a list of some of the things that make me tick as a pastor.:

-Serving God- ultimately, having only to answer to the Truth, is very freeing for me.

-Proclaiming Good News-when you share Jesus with people, it is sharing the gift of new life in all things.

-Presiding at the Sacraments: Baptism and Communion- "You have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the Cross of Christ forever." "The body of Christ, given for you. The Blood of Christ, shed for you." Participating in these rites is a source of great joy.

-Teaching about God and our place in God's story of salvation.

-The relationships that I get to be a part of, the sacred things that people entrust to me about their lives gives me a chance to be with others during the best and worst times. But whether it is joy or sorrow, God gives me a look at the depth of compassion and love that we are made and held with, and it is beautiful. People's stories are at the end of it all, really stories about God.


-Learning more about myself and human beings as I wonder and pray with the Creator of all things.

-Being around people who are called to serve and use their gifts in many unique ways, and bless me with their lives.

-Learning to see with the eyes of Christ, and sharing this vision in a wide variety of areas, especially in the life of a congregation.

-Having many ways to be creative and try to grow in that creativity in ways that connect with others.

As a final note, I just wanted to write that my calling as a pastor is something that has been formed in me since I was born. My parents, as well as my greater family, made faith a part of our life at home; they read the Bible to us, prayed with us, brought us to worship and Sunday School, shared fellowship with others in our congregation, hosted refugees from Central America, loved us, expected kindness and nurtured this formation throughout the years. Faith; a relationship with God through Christ's church and a relationship with all of creation through Christ's love is a part of who I am. Through this faith, given to me and sustained in me by the work of God and so many others, I have the honor, the very humbling honor, of being called as a pastor.

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