Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Humbling Moment

I am a pastor. These words rung through my head on my drive home from “pastoring” in Oakland one afternoon. I couldn’t shake it, I am a pastor. On my drive I began to think who am I a pastor too? I am certainly not everyone’s pastor. Who does God ultimately want me to pastor in this lifetime?

First, I pastor my family. My family is a mirror reflecting the effectiveness of my pastoring. Everything about me is mirrored through them. They are my first congregation. The gifts that I have been given through the Holy Spirit must be displayed in my own four walls before they take a single step onto the street. I need to be a pastor to my wife and her faith. I need to be a pastor to my boys and their faith. I need to build a home that represents the church for all who enter it.

Second, I pastor my friends. Jesus spent his entire ministry entrusting the gospel to twelve men, one of which ran from the call. Every time I read about Jesus calling the disciples his friends I am humbled by the importance placed on friendship. Friendship is the gospel practiced in real life with real people through the Holy Spirit. Friendships are relationships driven not just by two, but three. The Holy Spirit operates in our friendships and should act as a guide for how we treat one another. The Holy Spirit will act as a guide reminding us of Jesus and his call to draw towards one another.

Third, I pastor my neighbor. I was talking with a neighbor and realized they had no idea what I did at the church. They had little idea of what it meant to be a Christian. It was the easiest, yet most difficult conversation at the same time. I did not need to know a lot of answers to big questions, just simple expressions of my faith that he could understand. Yet, it was difficult because it requires investment out of my comfort zone. It is someone out of my circle. It is a call for me to move beyond those who will benefit me and moving to a relationship that is closer to selflessness than I am usually willing to go. I normally think of mercy in terms of helping the poor physically, not spiritually. Isn’t mercy simply bringing the gospel to those who can’t access it? Whether that be physically, emotionally, or spiritually?

Fourth, I pastor myself. My temptation is always to let any of these three things mentioned above distract me from really looking at me. Looking at me is the most difficult thing I have to do. It requires a routing process that I really don’t like. It involves looking at the sin that corrupts me and doing something about it. Working together with the Holy Spirit to change who I am at the core and rebuild me through Christ.

In actuality ministering to my family, friends, and neighbor is ultimately about my relationship with God. Jesus calls me to die to myself and replace myself with him. See the world through his eyes, no longer my own, nor others. See the world as he sees the world. This is what it truly means to pastor, to be transformed by the Holy Spirit to see the world through the eyes of the gospel of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

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