This is a post that I wrote for my Pastoral Ministry class. The Question that was posed to the class is “Introduce yourself, then explain what is your definition of Pastoral Ministry?” Below is my response:
I was saved when I was in high school. I thought I was a Christian because I had walked and aisle when I was 12, but I had never really let Him be the ruler of my life. My sophomore year I had realized that I wanted to have a relationship with God, but in my own logic I thought I had to clean up my life first. After going with a friend to their church, I realized that it was something that I couldn’t earn but it was a gift from God, which was given freely. I gave my life to God in the fall of 2004, and my life has never been the same. I was thinking this past week about how we as Christian get so used to the presence of God in our lives that we get to a point that we wouldn’t/couldn’t live without him. This week I found myself exhausted with school starting back and many of the other responsibilities on my plate and found myself strengthened by God. When we have utter chaos, God can bring His peace. Living the sacrifice of Jesus means that no longer do we live lives that are completely controlled by physical things. Jesus physically died, but spiritually took on all sin. Jesus physically rose again, but spiritually conquered death.
Pastoring starts there. Where we look beyond the physical congregation that God has given us and we see the spiritual need. Although part of our job deals with the physical, it is only the tip of the iceberg. We are shepherd of spirituality. When new-age beliefs (wolves) attack our congregation (sheep) we are there to protect them with the truth of God. We don’t just convince someone’s mind that this is right, but we are to lead them to the pasture of God, where God himself can deal with the person. We are also to model what a living/breathing/walking relationship looks like. If we want the congregation to pray fervently and boldly, then we must pray that way. Jesus spent 3 years with his disciples modeling ministry, and they didn’t always get it, but he continued to model. I think the gap between laity and clergy have drastically hindered that relationship of modeling. Shepherds need to stay close to the sheep, and we need to stay close to the congregation, building up leaders that encourage and exhort the flock.