Mark Lauterbach highlights the countercultural pastor's ethos of Eugene Peterson (more widely known as the dude who wrote The Message Bible). A great read. (I think many pastors would benefit greatly mainly from reading two guys: John Piper and Eugene Peterson. You may not agree with all threads of their theology, but these two pastors, more than most others, speak to pastoring with an experiential wisdom, a theological richness, and a radical call to self-sacrifice beyond nearly anybody else writing about ministry.) Here's an excerpt from Mark's post:
Peterson helped me navigate pastoral confusion and managerial pastoral models that are so present in our day. He is a counter cultural model in an age which reduces ministry to the pulpit or distorts it to church growth . . .
Peterson believes that pastoral work is modest work -- it is dealing with the details of life and the mess of sanctification in a local church. He cuts through the images of what he calls "air-brushed" congregations we meet in books about how someone built a great ministry! He calls it all nonsense. Churches are churches and there is grace at work and sin at work in them all. Pastors are called to embrace their church and not long for some idealized congregation nor are we to climb a career ladder.
He believes that the temptations as pastors are profound and we are not to negotiate those alone. The care of our souls is to be pursued with the help of others -- or we may become proud and angry with the slowness of our people to respond to us, or we may reduce ministry to the manageable categories of programs and plans.
He cuts through romanticism and sentimentality and wrong models again and again -- often with humor. What I come away with is that I take myself too seriously and am not so often aware of the profound workings of God the Spirit in grace and redemption in the people I serve.
Go read the whole thing.
This article is brand new and already making the blog rounds. It is also a must read.
Ed Stetzer's You Can't Love Jesus and Hate His Wife from Catalyst Monthly.
Last one's a doozy too:
Been There, Preached That by William Willimon (pdf doc)
(HT: Transforming Sermons -- sorry I forgot to credit you originally, Milton!)
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