Monday, September 3, 2007

The Tao of Pastoring, Abilities

Part of the stress I feel is coming from not being the "perfect" pastor. William Martin's The Art of Pastoring: Contemplative Reflections helps me remember that it's authenticity I seek, not perfection. Mistakes are part of being human.

Thought 10--Abilities

"A minister of the Word has certain abilities:
the ability to gently return a noisy mind
to a quiet place of communion with God;
the ability to release tension from the body
and to remain supple and relaxed;
the ability to cleanse the soul
of accumulated negativity
so the pure light of God is undimmed;
the ability to lead the people in the parish
without needing them to behave as you see fit;
the ability to let even the most important events unfold
without worrying or tampering with the process;
the ability to detach from your own plans for the church
and see the grace of God unfold
in a gentle way.
And if you are truly among the wisest of pastors
you create a safe place for your people's creativity;
you guide without agenda;
and you enjoy all without possessing any."

"(These are not the kind of abilities usually found on a pastoral search committee's list of hiring criteria. You will have to develop a deep conviction that they are of value and stick to them when everyone else is clamoring for a piece of your flesh.)"

Detach....let it go...God's grace surrounds me...

9 comments:

"PS" said...

I am getting this book. The reflections are awesome.

"PS" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan said...

Wise suggestions, and you are telling yourself the right things. These reflections could be good for me, too, not being a pastor. Thanks, my friend.

Serena said...

I agree ... a book that would be good for every minister ... ordained and lay! Thanks for sharing these wonderful reflections!

Cormac Mac Art said...

If its any comfort, there's no such thing as the perfect anything, let alone pastor. We're human, and thus imperfect. Its nice to strive for perfection but look at all the strife we cause when trying to hold ourselves to the letter of an ideal. ("Fail. Fail again. Fail better." (Samuel Beckett). Getting there is half the pain/fun. Cheers!

Jan said...

I was told today that Richard Rohr said at a conference before a time of quiet, "I wish for you blessed failure."

Diane said...

This is just the kind of medicine I needed today! Thanks!

RevDrKate said...

Oh, yes....amen to this, I need it so much right now. Truly he does say ALL the right and soothing things! Thanks fos sharing him.

Jiff said...

A timely post for me to read.
Thanks, Katherine.
I am so glad I've found your blog!