Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


A Pastor's View of Ministry

Over at Resurgence, in a series on Death by Ministry, Mark Driscoll asks,
In what ways should a pastor view their ministry?
  • Ministry is your fourth priority after being a Christian, husband, and father.
  • Ministry is your job, not your life.
  • God rewards faithfulness, not just fruitfulness.
  • Your salvation and righteousness are gifts from Jesus and not contingent upon your performance.
  • If you do not Sabbath, God will impose a Sabbath upon you.
  • A series of sprints, with nine natural breaks out of the pulpit, rather than a marathon.
  • Jesus is the Senior Pastor and the church is His.
I disagree with the second point above and find something to like in all the rest.

For me, I tend to think of being a priest in terms of who I am called to be, more than what I am called to do. I am called to be a person who wants to be at the hospital in the middle of the night when someone needs me there. That instead of I am the one who has to go to the hospital in the middle of the night because someone called. Though to the degree that is true, I suspect that it applies to all Christians. We are all called to be increasingly more like Jesus, and it is the being that matters.

Do any of these work for you or is there another way you view the role of a pastor? What about the role of all Christians?

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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  • At 9/25/2007 9:22 AM, Anonymous Linda+ said…

    "Ministry" is not my life, but priesthood is. As a priest I feel called to stand as a candle that gives the light of Jesus to the world around me. "Doing ministry" is an outcropping of being a priest.

  • At 9/25/2007 2:23 PM, Blogger Loren said…

    I find this pretty interesting as I contemplate leaving seminary and entering the next phase of my life. I think a job is something we have to do...ministry is something we get to do, and I do think that my call and my life are intertwined.

    However, I disagree with number 1...I think being a husband and a father aren't really going to be that high up on my list of priorities... :)

  • At 9/25/2007 4:22 PM, Anonymous jim said…

    what constitutes success in your ministries? Failure?

    How do you deal with that?

  • At 9/25/2007 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nobody could be a failure who truly applies him/herself to the work of the Lord. True success would be knowing that you honestly put forth your greatest effort with what God intended for you to do.

  • At 9/25/2007 10:19 PM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    How is the role of pastor different from the role of priest? I find that in the Orthodox tradition (at least my limited knowledge of it) the man named by my Bishop to serve in my parish is my Priest. Not that he isn't also my pastor but I believe his first calling is as Priest. I realize there may be a subtle differnce and I may be guilty of splitting hairs.

    Which is more important being the pastor or being the priest?

  • At 9/26/2007 7:17 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Jim, success and failure are ultimately determined by faithfulness to God's call. If you have been faithful to what God is calling you to do, then that is a success, if not that is failure. That said, the church as instituion will look at the ABCs—attendance, buildings and contributions—as signs of health or unhealth, growth or decline. In The Episcopal Church the prime number looked at is ASA or avereage Sunday attendance. What one has to deal with is that good, faithful people doing all they know to do may not see visible signs of success. We have to trust that God is present in those circumstances as well.

    November, from a scriptural perspective, the prists of the New Testament are 1) Temple priests in Jerusalem, 2) Jesus as our Great High Priest and 3) the kingdom of priests who are all Christians. The role we now term priest is the Greek word presbyteros. That role is primarily a sacramental one in the Anglican (episcopal), Orthodox and Catholic traditions so that the person is authorized by a bishop to administer the sacraments in a place in the bishops absence. Pastor is the Latin word for shepherd and is considered one aspect of a priest's role in a congregation. To some degree this is theological hairsplitting. To another, it is trying to find the right language to describe what we are doing and why. To use the terms as defined here, the sacramental role of leading the community in worship is more important, but as that role is so closely identified with shepherding that same flock, I don't think the two can actually be separated.

    The Rev. Frank Logue, Priest, Pastor, Vicar


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