You are pastor. (“Exercising pastoral supervision of the people committed to your care, ordering the life of the congregation, counseling the troubled in spirit…”)
The word ‘pastor’ can mean ‘shepherd,’ one who watches over the flock, the congregation. A shepherd learns to recognize cries for help (even when they sound like anger); a shepherd offers gentle redirection for a lamb going astray; a shepherd organizes life within the sheepfold.
- Underestimate the tools of your trade: The Word, prayer, and the sacraments. These are not second best. Few physicians, counselors, or gurus offer these life-giving things.
- Think of the pastor’s office as a chance for you to do your own thing. The ordered life of the church includes disciplined accountability. In the United Methodist Church, this includes the authroity of The Book of Discipline.
- Remember the difference between whom you serve and for whom you work. You serve a congregation, but you work for God.
- Keep in mind the basics. People need what pastors provide – a word from God, prayers, dependable sacramental promises, and a church relationship that is lived out ‘decently and in [good] order.’ (1 Corinthians 14:40).