Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Be tough Preachers!

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe Prov 29:25
Here is an excerpt of a classic article from Steve Brown in which he encourages pastors to develop a mean streak. This article is needed.

I spend a portion of my time teaching seminary students, and one of the pastoral traits I urge my students to develop is, for lack of a better term, a "mean streak." All too often in American churches, pastors have become sitting ducks for neurotic church members (and they are a small minority). If people don’t like the way a pastor parts his hair or ties his tie, they feel free to tell him. If they don’t like his wife’s dress because it clashes with the curtains in the church, they tell him. You wouldn’t believe the comments on my beard I have received over the years! Some people feel free to criticize and correct pastors on things for which they’d never think of criticizing anyone else.

Not long ago I was talking with a pastor in serious trouble with his congregation. He was being second-guessed and ridiculed in a shameful way. As we talked, it became apparent this young man needed to develop a mean streak to survive. He told me he felt he had been called to love his people, to understand them even when they were cruel and abusive.

"While you should be loving and kind," I said, "it’s equally important to be honest and strong. Why don’t you bring the people making those comments before the ruling body of the church and have them justify their disturbance of the peace and unity of the church, or leave."

The young pastor’s reply was interesting: "Steve, I know that’s what I should do, but I’m just not made that way. I feel my ministry is to pour oil on troubled waters, not put a match to it." Needless to say, that young man is no longer in the ministry. He didn’t have enough oil for all the troubled waters, so he is now selling insurance.

Former professional football player Norm Evans told me once about a massive freshman lineman—six foot five—with whom he played. In the lineman’s first game, the opposing lineman kept pulling this man’s helmet down over his eyes. The young lineman went up to the coach and said, "Coach, he keeps pulling my helmet down. What should I do?"

The coach smiled and said, "Son, don’t let him do it."

(HT:A brick in the valley)

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