Thursday, April 30, 2015


The 'old man' Bible Study I'm in met for the last time this past Tuesday night. We spent 9 weeks studying the book of 1 Peter, and Tuesday we went over chapter 5, verses 1-4. Peter is giving admonitions/exhortations to church leaders, and the thrust of it is derived from the shepherd image.
1 Peter 5:1-4 (NIV)
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

As with every study we had about a dozen questions to work through. One in particular caught my eye, and really made me stop and think: "What traits of a shepherd do you need to develop in order to be a better leader?"

We had discussed that there are 3 positive traits of a shepherd Peter puts forth here.
  1. Being willing to serve (instead of doing it out of obligation).
  2. As God wants you to be (instead of pursuing dishonest gain).
  3. Eager to serve (instead of lording it over others).
We never really got around to openly sharing our answers, but I was feeling mighty convicted. I'm not sure you can actually separate these as individual traits; they seem connected to me. However, if you're not willing to serve, there's little chance you're going to follow God's leading or be eager to serve others. So I came face to face with the fact that... I'm not really willing anymore

I'm not saying I will never be willing again, but right now I'm just not. I'm not proud of that; I have no good reason; it's just the way it is. And, honestly, my reasons probably come from 1) pain or lack of confidence, and 2) outright rebellion.

Being asked to resign as the pastor at my last church wasn't really what shook me... It was the betrayal and hurt inflicted on my family and myself. I think I've come a long way, but the truth is - I still hurt. Dang. I want to be over it completely, but I think it's a lie to try to force it. My confidence is simply shot. I wasn't only asked to resign but was told by the people whose opinions I valued most that, not only was I not doing a good job, but I apparently had NEVER done a good job. I know we're not supposed to worry about what others think of us, but... that's easier said that done. Especially for me.

Lately, though, I've been finding myself just telling God "no." Again, I'm not proud. I don't like being like this, but I... just don't want to do it. I don't want to pastor a church, I don't want to lead a small group or Bible Study, I don't want to lead worship or play in the band, or... anything. I realize I don't need to be a traditional pastor again, but that's not even the extent of it. Sadly enough, I'm just kinda resistant to any of it. Of course, the truth is, I really DO want to do those things, but... my heart is hard. There's really no other way to explain it than outright rebellion. It is not a good place to be.

I suppose I have a drawer full of sermons on how I should handle this. Without looking, I'm pretty sure they all start with 'confession.' There it is. Now I wait.

The odd thing is... I really don't feel all that stressed about it. The last thing I want to do is to do something for the wrong reasons. So I continue in this abiding stage. I had hoped it would be over much sooner, but I guess not. Or else I'm completely wrong. Eh. This is where I am.