Monday, December 1, 2008

A burger for the pastor's soul!

Eugene Peterson's The Contemplative Pastor

The Unbusy Pastor
*I should be a pastor who prays, preaches and listens.
-Prayer: time to pray and consider my relationship with God
-Preacher: “speak the word” not deliver “sermons,” silence and solitude required
-Listener: “Pastoral listening requires unhurried leisure, even if it's only for five minutes. Leisure is a quality of spirit, not a quantity of time. Only in that ambiance of leisure do persons know they are listened to with absolute seriousness, treated with dignity and importance.” (21)
The Subversive Pastor
*The Pastor is watching, collecting and waiting to spiritually attack for the kingdom. Peterson recommends cultivating this mindset towards all your ministry.
The Apocalyptic Pastor
*Use and appreciate poetry
“The apocalyptic pastor is patient.” (46)
*Explore, think about and immerse yourself in the world with a scripture soaked body
be aware of the levels and metaphysical nuance of language

The Middle Voice:
“When I speak in active voice, I initiate an action that goes someplace else: “I counsel my friend.” When I speak in the passive voice, I receive the action that another initiates: “I am counseled by my friend.” When I speak in the middle voice, I actively participate in the results of an action that another initiates: “ I take counsel. ... My grammar book said, 'The middle voice is that use of the verb which describes the subjects as participating in the results of the action.' I read that now, and it reads like a description of Christian prayer – 'the subject as participating in the results of the action.'” (pages 102 to 105)

Seeing People as Sinners:
“The word sinner is a theological designation. It is essential to insist on this. It is not a moralistic judgement.” (118)
-seeing your congregation as sinners (as an antidote to resentment)
-discerning how people are sinners, that they are sinners is a presupposition.
- sharing the ministry of grace and forgiveness centered in Jesus Christianity

Dr Morgan or the 'impersonating a doctor' trick: We can fake being a pastor externally but we may underestimate the gravity of our commitment to holiness and the massive task of conveying the realities of word and sacrament. We should think of it as a craft, a craft of entering the wreckage of the world. But we cannot succumb to the world's coping with the wreckage! (It's explanations.)

(Sabbaticals are good: set goals, take time, use it well, stay connected to home church.)

[ht JD]