The Things Pastors Know and See

The pastor can be the loneliest soul in the congregation, wandering out in the point man position, scoping the land for danger all by himself, yet always feeling the tug of those needing his attention on the back of his coat. The pastor is a multitasker not just of duties but of personalities and problems. Many Christians are focused on their own journey; the biblical pastor is too, but he’s also focused on yours. And his and hers and the next guy’s. In one day he might hold a dying woman’s hand, grive in the office with a couple on the verge of divorce, celebrate 100 days of sobriety with someone, and then go home and laugh with his wife and kids at a Munsters rerun. The pastor is ministerially multipolar.

The vantage point of pastoral ministry is a heavy and secret thing. Good pastors aren’t always spilling everybody else’s guts, so one hour he may be rushing out on a benevolence call on his day off, and the next hour hear from another the accusation that he is selfish.

True story.

The accuser knows nothing of the benevolence call, and the good pastor does not feel compelled to defend himself using it as evidence. He has his own perspective and trusts God will vindicate him in due time when all things are revealed. The recipient of the benevolence has his perspective too. And the next day he may be asking, “But what have you done for me lately?”

Sister serious is concerned about the way Sister Broken lets her son squirm during the worship service without disciplining him. But the pastor knows that Sister Broken is recovering from an abusive ex and is growing in Christ, and that to clamp down on her about her squirmy son at this point would risk further bruising a heart in need of healing. -John Newton (Found in The Pastor’s Justification)

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