It’s easy for a pastor to convince him or herself that our primary calling is to the role we play within the context of the congregation we serve.
It’s natural to assume that when we are with our people, we are there in a particular capacity that demands a specific role.
For example, when I am engaged in pastoral care, in the privacy of my office, I am often tempted to play the role of ‘fixer,’ or ‘advocate,’ or ‘super counselor who solves everyone’s problems with ease and grace,’ etc.
Then, when I am in a meeting with elders, deacons, or various ministry teams I sense a need to play the role of visionary, leader, team-builder, or manager.
The Danger of Distance and Despair in a Role
Once I convince myself that the primary calling of my life is about the roles I play in my life, then it becomes easy for me to distance myself from the people I serve. As the distance grows (subtly but with certainty), the voice in my head tells me that I sit above, apart from, or over, as an ‘expert’ of sorts, the dear members of my congregation.