13 July 2014

It's all part of the job, right?

A friend of mine quipped to a pastor, after a particularly hard week, that this - weddings, sickness, deaths and the ensuing pastoral visits - was all part of the job, right?

Yes. no. Kind of.

To begin with, it feels strange for me to talk about what's part of the pastor's job. It has, after all, never been my job. Even transitioning into my role as campus pastor, it didn't feel like I was becoming a pastor. In my head, I was going to encourage and mentor students, plus help them with the challenges of doing academics and faith well. Alongside of that, I wanted to speak to the church, university and world around me about what I saw in the inersection of faith and academics. In other words, I wanted to do my job well, but I wasn't really anticipating being a pastor nor did I necessarily see the 'pastor' thing as being a necessary part of the job.

Somehow the people I serve didn't quite get that memo. Nor did they have the same expectations! And so I've been slowly becoming a pastor, and I have been surprised by how well God has prepared me for that and thankful that this seems good, even if it wasn't the road I expected to travel.

And so when someone quips that this sharing in people's lives and burdens is all part of the job, my answer is yes, no, and kind of. Because it is to some degree what we pastors do and so, yes, it is part of the job. At the same time, being invited into someone's life and encouraging him/her in to faithfully serve God (and enjoy Him!), this is much more than a job: it is a precious a gift and an honour. Even if this gets to be more part of my normal life in the coming time, I hope I never lose the wonder of being allowed to walk alongside and pastor others.

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