I, Paul, am really enjoying reading Eugene Peterson’s memoir, The Pastor. It is a really easy read, as the chapters are stories around key times of formation as a pastor. The book is a wonderful example of Honest Christianity and ministry. Eugene explains himself as initially a reluctant pastor and goes on a fast learning curve. One of his early reflections and lessons is that he saw people as problems to be solved. After 2 years being a part of group being mentored by a psychiatrist, he grew in skills and knowledge of helping individuals. As he continued to reflect on the role of a pastor, he has an epiphany to bring him up short,
“I was gradually becoming interested in my congregation as a problem to be fixed rather than as persons made in the image of God, capable of living, just as they were, to the glory of God”.
This is an extremely honest reflection from someone many of us have been inspired by. This is insightful from both sides, it is a temptation across many professions, ministry, social work, education, counselling, healthcare etc. we may have treated people, children, young people, families, like this. We may also have been on the receiving end of being treated like this by people we have trusted to support and advise us.
This is one of those blogs, that join up and synergise between our themes of Honest Christianity and Going the Distance. What I am glad about is that God does not see or treat me or you like this. I do need some fixing but don’t treat me first and foremost like this. I will try and do the same to you.
Reference: Eugene Peterson The Pastor A Memoir New York Harper One 2012.