Recently I saw a bunch of theological bloggers put out their “theological confessions” and thought it was really neat to see them humble themselves and share their thoughts and struggles openly.
Taking inspiration from them, here is my list of pastoral confessions:
- Even though I don’t want to, I struggle with the temptation to measure our church’s success by how many butts sit in the seats (or sofas) each Sunday mornings and not by how well we are living our our values.
- I struggle deeply with a consistent prayer life and regular scripture reading habit. Not only do I struggle with the habit, I often struggle with the desire to have a habit at all. Then of course, I struggle with the struggle that I struggle to have the desire to have the habit that I struggle with… er something like that…
- At least once every two months (if not more) I struggle with the rationality of the existence of God, the story of Jesus and sometimes wonder if I am just a product of my upbringing. Each time, I simply have no other way to live than to go back to the fact that I believe Jesus is who he said he is and base my faith in a new hope and new future for this world.
- I often find a deep disconnect between how much I desire for our church to be transformed by the gospel and how much I desire myself to be transformed by the gospel. It’s just a heck of a lot easier to think about this thing for others.
- I hate organization. Well, I don’t hate organization, I just hate organizing. So much so that important things for our church community are often left undone because of it (thank God for team leadership).
- I go through phases of being really insecure about the fact that I am called as pastor. Sometimes I feel like a complete sham and just pray to God that everyone will be fooled.
- I am in a constant struggle to keep from being a workaholic. My family often feels the brunt of this struggle.
- I am addicted to busyness. I have a hard time sitting still without being engaged in some form of work or reading. This deeply effects my relationship with God and especially my family.
I could go on and on. But I’ll stop for now.
It’s funny how I still hear the “but you’re a pastor” line. Usually it’s in the context of how people think I never struggle or have a hard time with this following Jesus thing. Of course, my church community is awesome when it comes to this but it still creeps up a little bit.
I know that Hebrews has some scary words for leaders…
“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7)
its a good thing that…
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
I am not satisfied with where I am in my walk with Jesus but I also know that I am a cracked eikon who is being restored into the image of Jesus Christ as much as anyone else. I am saved by grace as much as anyone else. I am God’s beloved as much as anyone else. I am dependent on all of this (perhaps more than anyone else!)
So, you pastors out there… what about you?
Since I have been calling people people out in some recent posts, I do it again.
I invite these pastors to share their “pastoral confessions” if they feel comfortable (feel free to not participate guys, no pressure).
- Eugene Cho
- John Chandler
- J.R. Briggs
- JR Woodward
- Ryan Bell
- Laurence Tom
- Drew Moser (update: thanks Drew. Good stuff)
- Scot McKnight – Scot, I know you aren’t a “pastor” but I would love to hear what someone with your “celebrity” (for lack of better word) profile has to say on this.
Looking forward to reading. I am sure I’ll find it encouraging…