For many years, decades perhaps, both at home and in "the real world", people talk about what it takes to be a well-grounded, well-rounded person. Whether you are raising kids or you are in a position of leadership and feel as though you are "re-raising" an adult... the successful, the mature, the sensible and rational among us, understand people do much better in life when they have a firm foundation of morals, principles and integrity; not to mention, a level of discernment necessary to make sound decisions.
Add to that prescription... an ongoing education of skills and abilities that will allow and enable people as they develop in maturity and understanding, to sort through and figure out solutions to situations; that, even if this is the first of its kind, they will be able to navigate their way with some level of accomplishment or success. It might not be the best solution, but had they not had a solid foundation and well-thought out approach, the result would have been disastrous.
A person, not well-grounded, will have difficulty from the onset, simply from not having a guiding set of principles whereby everything they say and do builds on that foundation.
A person, not well-rounded, will have difficulty half-way through... like the parable of the one who started building without calculating the cost, realized he didn't have what he needed to see it through. A troubling result, often public, leads to some form of ruin.
The need for this perspective is significant and we all know it, yet in this day of society doing "everything" possible to remove God from public life, elevating every detail of private life into the limelight and adding in the daily dose of moral relativism without long-term consequences, let alone eternal detriment to one's soul... well; the battle continues.
We see it in our kids. And in our adults. A level of unpreparedness for the real world.
It's also hitting the pulpit.
In an article I read yesterday on ChurchLeaders.com, was the following statement:
"Most seminary programs don’t equip pastors for the “people side” of ministry. Graduating pastors are more prepared to preach than they are to lead and serve people." - Esther Laurie
The article talked about a survey of 734 former pastors, who had left the ministry BEFORE reaching retirement age. A whopping 48% said their training did NOT prepare them to handle the "people" side of the ministry.
How can we expect the church and its Christians to effective communicate the love of Jesus Christ if we do not have an above-average ability to engage people, discuss difference amicably, resolve problems fairly and continue life as better friends (or at least peaceful acquaintances) rather than bitter enemies, if Pastors themselves don't feel prepared?
Ministry is entirely about people... for without them, to whom would you share the message of Christ and to whom would you teach a greater relationship with Christ?
On this, #youthPastorWednesday, as it starts with the youngest among us... pray once again, for firm foundations of faith in lives of young people. May it be instilled within them, "a desire to know, love, seek & follow God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, all the days of their life" (a prayer I pray over my kids every night I tuck them in) Pray they would be well-grounded in principle and well-rounded as they interact with people. In like spirit, pray for pastors, struggling in the areas of ministry they feel unprepared... whether in dealings with people, having and meeting the expectations of the church, fulfilling the responsibilities of the pastorate, satisfying the needs of their family. May God intervene, for people and solutions to be brought to light.
Pray for a rising up... for Pastors to continue to step up to the pulpit, ready to fulfill their calling, rather than retreat from it in frustration. Anointing, passion and purpose for Pastors today. Anew & Afresh.
Prepared & Undefeated. For the glory of God.
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.