Preacher AND Pastor

I want to be both.

Preaching is not pastoring. And pastoring is not preaching. Two different things. But a pastor can be a preacher. And a preacher can be (should be, must be, has to be) a pastor.

I want to be both.

John Frye comments on being both in a post earlier this week on The Jesus Creed:

“In my early years a lingering value still suggested that pastors shouldn’t get too close to people because the pastor might not be able to maintain his “objectivity.” All of this created a low church liturgy where the Sunday sermon was what mattered most. Preaching was the big thing in the service. Getting to know the Book was more important than getting to know God. Mistakenly in the minds of most, the one equaled the other. I became a theological technician, not a pastor. Put me in a white lab coat and I would have been mistaken for a social scientist. Then in the midst of modern American evangelical pastoring, I met Jesus the Pastor. He is the good pastor, the great pastor, the chief pastor (see John 10, Hebrews 13, and 1 Peter 5). Jesus undeniably cared deeply for people and got close to them. He even led a small group. The Apostle Paul said that he became like a nursing mother and caring father to his people (1 Thessalonians 2). This sounds like very close relationships to me. Jesus cared about little things, too, like a widow’s two mites, a fallen sparrow, a cup of water, a coin, five loaves and two fish. Jesus’ ministry didn’t turn on his synagogue exegetical sermons. He mixed it up with people outside the “church walls” at Matthew’s house, a Samaritan well, a roof top, a wedding, a garden, the lake shore, a Pharisee’s house, long dusty roads, and a graveyard.

Preaching is not pastoring. Preaching is part of the liturgy for the community of believers. Pastoring is about the individually named people who have individual stories, with their individual dreams and wounds, their particular gains and losses, their anxieties and hopes, their longings for and fears of God. Pastors live within God’s grand Story of salvation and help others see how their individual stories can get caught up into God’s Story. I like the image Eugene H. Peterson uses for pastors: pastors are detectives searching out the slightest evidence of God’s grace in peoples’ lives. I’ve learned that pastors are artists of the soul, not religious scientists.”

Caring about the little things. Ministry in the interruptions. Intercession and encouragement. Proclamation and submission. Teaching and reaching. Studying and hugging. Preacher AND Pastor.

I want to be both.


MMMMWorldCheck out Mark’s comment there on the right side of this page, and up a bit, for three links to three video clips from It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. If you’re a fan of the movie, you’ll enjoy all three. If you just want to see Ethel Merman yelling and screaming and insulting everybody, the first link is best. She especially gives it to Jonathon Winters. If you want to view the original two-minute promotional trailer, that’s the second link. If you just want to see Ethel Merman slip and fall on the banana peel, that’s 1:31 into the third clip. Thanks, Mark.


I auditioned last night for Kipi and our VBS production of  “Bound for Holy Ground.” I read for the parts of Moses and an Egyptian taskmaster and a Hebrew slave. Since I won’t shave my head (I’m not willing to risk it-it may not come back), I know I won’t be playing Pharaoh. Other than that, we’re just all going to find out Sunday morning where Kipi’s placing us. I don’t think I’m compassionate or sympathetic enough to play Moses. Plus, I’m not sure he gets any funny lines.





1 Comment

  1. Jamie

    Dear Allan,
    To me you are both and sometimes I consider you a preacherman! You remember the story of the stone soup! Well thats sorta whatI consider a man of the cloth is: a little of this, and alitttle of that and a whole lot of the church body and you have a preacherman! Sincerely,
    Jamie Warren

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For spam filtering purposes, please copy the number 5143 to the field below: