In her most recent online letter, Bishop Huie has this:
Dr. Bill Carter, a Presbyterian pastor, tells a story about a rabbi who was approached by one of his students. The student said, “Rabbi, I love you.” The rabbi said, “Oh, really? Well, do you know what troubles me most?” The student said, “No, I don’t know what troubles you the most.” The rabbi said, “How can you say that you love me if you don’t know what troubles me most?”
Is it my imagination or do we tend to only tell this kind of story about Rabbis? If so, is it because other “religious leaders,” i.e., Christian pastor, are always supposed to be nice, and this kind of response has a little too much bite to be nice?
What do you think?
I think “nice” is part of it, but the other part is “respect.” If the story started out by saying a church member went to his pastor one day and said, “Pastor I love you…” We might think, yeah right. Yet, remove our cultural barrier and we buy it.
I guess where I am going with this is: has the role of pastor lost respect? I hear pastors lament that it has, and if so, why and what can we do about it?
I know that you follow what Steven Furtick is doing at Elevation. Now he has elevated the role of pastor for his congregation!
I have contemplated the benefits of elevating the role of pastor verses playing “friend to all.”
Sorry to take the post in another direction.
Makes me think of something the Questing Parson might say. I find it very hard to be bold in speaking the truth and not sound like an ass. I tend to err on the side of not sounding like an ass, but am I then abolishing my calling as a pastor in doing that?
Thanks for the comments, guys.
Jeff, I haven’t been following Furtick closely enough to be familiar with his elevating the role of pastor. I have heard similar sounding teaching from Dallas Willard, though I think the focus may have been somewhat different.
Kurt, I sometimes feel like some people (only some) want me to be more Command and Control oriented. That’s not my nature – though I do see the temptation. I suppose a flavor of the role that appeals more to me is the Fool.