Weekly Thought – August 11, 2020
Fred respected the office of pastor. His desire to include his pastors in the personal goal of stretching others created long-term relationships. This week we continue our excerpting of Fred’s A Layman Looks To His Pastor. It is our prayer pastors and other ministry leaders in our BWF community experience growth and blessing as they read.
A Layman Looks To His Pastor, part two
(Fred spoke to a pastors’ conference and outlined nine ideas he shared with his pastor. The masculine pronoun is used by Fred. The editor recognizes the role of women in ministry, but did not change it to stay true to Fred’s writing in a different historical context).
4) I would like my pastor to trust me enough to let me be myself around him so that he can be himself around me. Maintaining images can alienate us from one another. A layman recently commented, “I cannot believe how my friends change when they are with the pastor.” Certainly I am not advocating total intimacy and transparency with everyone for this is dangerous. But I do support reality in relationships and wisdom in what is shared and with whom.
5) I would hope my pastor would maintain personal spiritual vitality so that his sure belief would be a candle in any darkness we all face. But also, that he would recognize when I let down on my spiritual disciplines and stopped growing. Spiritual vitality cannot be gained through osmosis. We all want to have associations with vibrant Christians, but we can’t lean on them for our own life of faith. There was a time in my early adulthood I depended on the Christian experience of a friend, even though my own experience was real. I vividly remember when he confronted me saying, “Fred, get off my spiritual back!” I was sucking him dry because my own walk was arid. God doesn’t want us to live through others, but through the Spirit driven relationship.
6) I want my pastor to know truth, not just the facts of faith. Just as information is not knowledge, and knowledge is not wisdom, so facts and word studies do not adequate express the truth of the revelation God gave in Christ. Father Hesburgh when President of Notre Dame was asked to sit on the board of Chase Manhattan Bank by David Rockefeller. When Father Hesburgh laughed, saying he didn’t even have a bank account, Rockefeller responded “There will be times when we will need to know the truth and for that we will turn to you.” He accepted the position.
7) I would want my pastor to not act humble, but actually be humble. I have always used the definition of humility as: “not denying the power, but admitting it comes through you and not from you.” My son, Fred, recently gave me another one that I like very much: “Accepting your strength with gratitude.” I like to see my pastor receive compliments with graciousness that bespeaks humility. Francois Fenelon said to his friend “Accept the compliments of worthy people as the blessing of God.”
This week carefully consider: 1) Which idea would be a good conversation starter with your pastor? 2) As a pastor or ministry leader, which point most interests you? 3) How can we use Fred’s idea to truly encourage our pastors?
Words of Wisdom: “God doesn’t want us to live through others, but through the Spirit drive relationship.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The fear of the LORD provides wise instruction, and before honor comes humility.” (Proverbs 15:33 NET Bible)