Our flocks are frequently helpful but also frequently not. Our churches want their pastors to be just like one of them, except when difficulty hits, and then they want them to be Obi Wan Kenobi.
They want their pastors to be totally accessible, on call 24/7, and thoroughly involved in the extracurriculars of congregational life, but they also want them to be the Energizer Bunny. They don’t want the pastor to spend too much time locked away in his study, but they want him to sermonize like Matt Chandler or Andy Stanley.
They want their pastors to be transparent and honest and authentic, but they don’t want to be made uncomfortable by confession and pastoral brokenness. They want their pastors to be dispensers of abundant grace and mercy for sinners, except when it comes to those people.
They demand a king and Saul will do. This is no grounds to become our church’s accuser. Really, what their heart wants— and what our heart wants— is Jesus; they just expect to find him in you. And find him in you they will, if you will keep pointing them to the real Jesus and away from yourself.
Like the psalmist, we lift our eyes up to the mountains (Ps. 121:1). Where will our help come from? Well, some trust in chariots and some in horses (Ps. 20:7). Some trust in attendance figures and some in pats on the back. Some trust in book deals and some in speaking engagements. Some trust in tithing records and some in salaries. Some trust in dynamic sermons and some in excellent production values. Some trust in the favor of the husbands and some in the stolen glances from the wives.
But we will trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Jared Wilson, The Pastor’s Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and Ministry, Kindle locations 1159-1171
The Pastor’s Justification is Wilson’s response to this great vulnerability and this great need. He writes as a pastor to and for other pastors. He writes to and for those who desperately need to understand, ponder and apply the gospel, which is to say, he writes for himself first, and the rest of us only subsequently. ~ Tim Challies