(Christian Century) Craig Barnes—Pastor, not friend

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The pastor offers the congregation’s laments and doxology to God and proclaims God’s holy word to the congregation. Friendships have little to do with this. Should God call the pastor to go to another place, it’s asking too much of the congregation to expect them to discern this with the pastor.

Ordination costs pastors, and one of the greatest costs is maintaining the lonely status of being surrounded by everyone in the church while always being the odd person in the room. [Layman] Jack Anderson will never understand this, but it is critical for his sake that I did.

As a physician, Jack had a similar challenge when he diagnosed me with a condition that required minor surgery. He didn’t ask me to help him discern the best course of action, and he knew that the truly loving act was to say necessary things that I didn’t want to hear. That’s because his ethical responsibility was to treat me not as a friend but as a patient. That makes perfect sense to him and to me. But he’s confused when I treat him as a parishioner.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Pb wrote:

Jesus called his disciples friends. Just sayin’

January 10, 3:53 pm | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.

Next entry (above): “The real news .. the paucity of the theology the Dean offers in justifying a predictable decision”

Previous entry (below): Chris Kornelis—Confessions of a sinking millennial: Time for us to accept personal responsibility

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)