April 15, 2015

A Note for Pastors

If you're a pastor and cannot come to love the congregation you serve, cannot love the culture and community in which that congregation is set, you must leave. Ministers cannot effectively serve people they don't love.  And if a pastor is at odds with the culture of the larger community, members of the congregation will soon recognize it and view their minister as he views himself - as an outsider.
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Ministry is rural, urban, or small-town.  Congregations are rich or poor, growing or shrinking, happy or dour. Buildings are lovely or leaky, too big or too small. Cultural contexts are sophisticated or homey, rural, small-town, big city, Bach or country western. God loves each congregation and each context in and for its particularity. A pastor is called to see his or her place and people with God's "lover's eye," and to love them for their particularity.

Christian Century April 15, 2015