I’m reading through with a friend Paul Tripp’s Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry (Crossway 2012). I would describe it as a sober and yet grace-filled critique of pastoral culture in our setting. Its helping me see and feel afresh the importance of keeping my heart soft before the Lord in the midst of the ups and downs and busyness of ministry. Here is an especially powerful quote. I think Tripp is right on in his concern here:
“Does it seem right and healthy that in many churches the functional reality is that no one gets less of the ministry of the body of Christ than the pastor does? Does it seem best that most pastors are allowed to live outside of or up above the body of Christ? If every pastor is, in fact, a man in the middle of his own sanctification, shouldn’t he be receiving the normal range of the essential ministry of the body of Christ that God has ordained for every member of the church to receive? Is there any indication in the New Testament that the pastor is the exception to the normal rules that God has designed for the health and growth of his people?” (p. 69).