I like my pastor.

Pastor-HeadlessWhile helping decorate church for the Christmas season our four year old son told our pastor, “I don’t like church… but I like you.” That’s no surprise, since at his age he’s far more interested in playing at church than listening. I like my pastor, too, but shhhh… don’t tell him. It may go to his head. We have a few things in common, topics we like to chat about — family life, sports, beer, scotch and sometimes even the current LCMS shenanigans. My pastor is the kind of guy I can grab a cup of coffee with or have a glass of scotch and a cigar with. He’s a good guy. I like my pastor.

It’s great that my pastor is approachable and connects with our children. However, I don’t think it’s all that important that he is likeable. While I greatly enjoy our conversations, I wouldn’t take it personally if we didn’t have them. His role as pastor in my life and the life of my family is more important than talking about how horrible the Vikings are this year or how good that latest bottle of scotch I got is. Our pastor’s aren’t called to be our buddies, and aren’t required to do anything above and beyond their office.

I’ve written before about being “friends” with your pastor outside of his calling as your pastor. (//steadfastlutherans.org/?p=33177) It can be difficult. Seeing your pastor outside the church may make you think less of him or maybe you fear he will think less of you. This fear can cause you to avoid getting to know your pastor as a person. But pastors are people. Hard to believe sometimes, I know, but it’s true. And as people, our pastors are also sinners. They struggle just like we do. They face the devil’s attacks just like we do — more so, even. They need the support of their brothers and sisters in Christ just as we do. And with every passing day the world makes being a pastor more difficult.

Pastors appreciate our encouragement beyond an occasional “good sermon” compliment. But we should also consider his service to us by offering our service and support — in whatever we can — back to him and his family. If we have a faithful pastor who we appreciate, we should feel comfortable enough to approach him, ask him how we can help. Regardless of whether we want to share a beer or grab a cup of coffee with our pastor, we should also try our best to help and support him in any way we can.

My four year old may not yet truly understand what our pastor does or why he is an important part of our lives. But as he gets older I look forward to having more in depth conversations with him about why we have a pastor and why we go to church. I pray we both continue to like our pastor for the right reasons — not for things of this world we both enjoy, but for his faithful service in the office of the Holy Ministry. I pray that our pastor will continue to preach the Word faithfully and administer the sacraments properly. Above all I pray for all pastors that they will continue to preach the Law sternly and the Gospel of Christ sweetly to sinners who so desperately need to hear it. As long as we have that, we don’t need to like our pastor.

 

About Nathan Redman

Nathan Redman was baptized into Christ at Bethel Lutheran Church (ELCA) Wahpeton, North Dakota on June 17th 1979. He and his wife, Bernice and their two children, Elsie and Porter are members of Redeemer Lutheran Church (LCMS) in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Nathan works for a family owned Pepsi distributor in St. Cloud. In his spare time he enjoys watching Doctor Who, listening to Frank Sinatra and drinking single malt Scotch. Nathan considers it a privilege to write for Steadfast Lutherans.

Comments

I like my pastor. — 7 Comments

  1. I am blessed to be able to say that our pastor is likable in many ways, but chiefly because he truly loves and cares for his flock. He serves us with the riches of God’s grace – His Word preached in purity, His Sacraments administered properly, and His care in times of need. Thanks for again reminding me how blessed I am for this wonderful shepherd.

  2. Thank you for this article.

    The gospel of Christ proclaimed, taught, confessed and applied to myself and my husband, personally-yes, this is why we love our pastor. This is how we know he loves us.

  3. So, the pastor is a good guy because you can have a glass of scotch and a cigar with? Drinking scotch and smoking cigars is very harmful to ones health and those around the one drinking and smoking. However, you do have it right, the pastor is a great guy when he continues to preach the Word faithfully and administer the sacraments properly. And he is even a greater pastor when parishioners pray for their pastors that they will continue to preach the Law sternly and the Gospel of Christ sweetly to sinners who so desperately need to hear it. As long as you have that, you don’t need a layman getting up and preaching on Sunday mornings.

  4. With 3 references to scotch and 2 references to beer,
    Nathan is one of the guys. Fortunately, that is not
    the standard of measurement for the like-ability of
    pastors.

    Bottom Line: Does the pastor proclaim the law and
    gospel in his sermons as God’s servant to His people?
    Are his sermons Bible-based and Christ-centered?

  5. our Pastor is a man of many facets. a leader that is well versed in the law and gospel that knows how to preach them. an organizer, peace keeper, writer, family man. A man of discipline that will handle the hard as well as easy tasks of being a pastor. A man who is respected and who gives respect. My confessor And luckily for me a friend that is welcome at my home anytime.

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