What Sort of Pastor Do I Want to Be?

My daughter was recently in a play of the story of Cinderella. At one point in the play, the prince was telling his most trusted knight that he didn’t want to be king, because he didn’t want to be like his father, who merely sat on his throne, doing little. Rather, the prince wanted to be out and about and fighting and doing all of the things that the knights got to do. The knight told him that he didn’t have to be a king like his father. Then, he asked the question, “What sort of king do you want to be?”

Eugene Peterson tells of his own crisis in ministry, when he attempted to resign. He told his elders that wasn’t being the pastor that he wanted to be. So, his elders essentially asked him, “What sort of pastor do you want to be?” I love his answer (which is thoroughly Biblical).  He said, …

“I want to study God’s word long and carefully so that when I stand before you and preach and teach I will be accurate. I want to pray, slowly and lovingly, so that my relation with God will be inward and honest. And I want to be with you, often and leisurely, so that we can recognize each other as close companions on the way of the cross and be available for counsel and encouragement to each other” (Eugene Peterson, Under the Unpredictable Plant [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992], p. 39).

That’s the sort of pastor that I want to be.

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