I was having a conversation with a fellow pastor the other day and something struck me. It is truly remarkable all of the ways in which we in the church cut one another down. Congregations often go from loving their pastor to actively trying to drive them out-of-town. Pastors are far more likely to point out each others failings instead finding ways to build each other up. So many are working so hard in their ministry, yet the focus seems to rest only on their failures and short comings.
This other pastor reminisced with me about another tradition that was once the culture of many churches. It was a culture where while people’s oddity and faults were still noticed, they were loved and lifted up anyways by their community; he describe a culture in which people would get in heated debates and still share a beer after wards as close friends.
His reminiscing made me dream about a time when ministers would instead of comparing each others’ stats, look for ways in which they could cooperate and build each other up; a time when congregations would actively seek out ways to support and develop their pastors, a time when we would see each others not as people on opposing sides, but rather as brother and sisters in a shared ministry. Ah it is good to dream. Over lunch though as I ate with my friend, a fellow minister of the Gospel, I think I saw this dream becoming reality.