Why should we call you to be our pastor?

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

By now you may know that I love “The Imperfect Pastor” by Zack Eswine. I am currently reading through the book and discussing it with another local pastor. I want to share an excerpt from the book that I think focuses our hearts and minds on what is really important in the life of the church.

As you read this excerpt you need to know that Zack is in the middle of an interview to become the Lead Pastor at a church.

“Why should we call you to be our pastor?” I don’t know for sure. I am not certain that your should,” I answered. Each member looked at one another and then back at me. With a warm smile, one member responded, “I don’t think that’s the way you are suppose to answer that question.” We all laughed a bit.

“I know,” I said. “I know how I am suppose to answer, and I can if you want. I can tell you my resume, my stature, my years of experience and books, and my vision for why I can do for this church what no one else really can. Then I can tell you that God laid this or that on my heart and tell you that for his glory I believe we can mobilize and accomplish great things for a remarkable future.”

“And there is a problem with that?” one of the members asked as she laughed kindly and leaned forward.

“Yes,” I nodded. “If we can just be honest with one another, we all know that we’ve only spent a few hours together. They’ve been great, but we don’t know each other very well. You want a pastor, and I want a job. We are all putting our best foot forward. But one year from now, it won’t matter much what great things we talked about here tonight. By then you will know my weaknesses, wounds, and sins, and I will know yours. What will matter one year from now is whether we actually love one another with our strengths and weaknesses, hurts and sins. If not, our vision statements and plans won’t come to fruition anyway, no matter how exciting or well worded.”

I love Zack’s honesty during his interview. Strategy and vision are important but the singular most important thing when it comes to relationships in the church is whether or not we will continue to love one another after we truly get to know each other.

 

 

Something we all need to hear

I am on the record for saying that one of my favorite books about pastoring is “The Imperfect Pastor” by Zach Eswine. In chapter four he is describing a conversation he had with a mentor of his back in college. The mentor knows that Zach is longing for approval and for others to notice him. This way of thinking and feeling is usually camouflaged with the mantra of doing great things for God’s kingdom. This conversational exchange left me teary-eyed because it is exactly what I needed to hear. Maybe you will feel the same way.

I was a long-haired college kid. Bob was a campus minister with the Navigators Christian ministry. He regularly invited me to come with him for prayer in forgotten places. I look back now and marvel that Bob saw this as no waste of time. I’m grateful. Often, after a couple prayerful hours, we would sit together to talk. One time, Bob looked at me.

“Zachary,” he said. “You are already discovered.”

“What?” I asked.

“Whatever happens in your future, with all you dream and hope for, I want you to know that getting discovered has already happened to you. Jesus already knows you, hears your prayers, and delights to know you.”

Significance in the Ordinary from Crossway on Vimeo.