Recently I’ve taken to asking my pastor clients this question: Who disciples you?
Typical responses? “Hmmm. I’ll have to think about that…don’t know…nobody, I guess…does —– count (nationally-known preacher they listen to or read on a regular basis)” I used to ask, “Where do you feed spiritually?” However, the discipleship question moves beyond that of being fed to being discipled and mentored.
Our shepherds are also sheep like us. They need discipleship and mentoring. One wonders if ministeriums could be resuscitated to provide true discipleship.
I’m writing a piece about pastors and their need for care. One study found that while a goodly number of pastors would be open to getting counseling, most do not think their stresses and needs reach a level where counseling is needed (It could be useful but I don’t think my problems are that big). Another study found that most pastors do not have close relationships with others outside their spouse.
If this is true, then most of our pastors are without any discipleship. Is it any wonder then that problems like pornography and other misconduct are frequent among pastors?
3 responses to “Ask your pastor this question: Who disciples you?”
This is great brother! Very true.
This is of great interest to me. I am currently doing a research project as part of my DMin studies on how independent churches can care for their ministry staff. If you have made any progress in your search I would be interested to find out.
Being in ministry for 6 years, and a relatively young pastor (both in age and experience), I see the urgent need for ministers to continually grow in discipleship. A couple of areas that I try to focus on, in the midst of busyness and ministry challenges:
– maintaining a daily devotional time of Bible reflection and prayer
– praying weekly for myself, my family, ministry and leaders, as well as praying with my wife
– honouring God with my Sabbath rest
– meeting up monthly with a small group of fellow ministers (2-3) for prayer and support
– reading broadly from Christian literature (classics and new books), listening to online sermons, learning from Christian bloggers, scholars, pastors
– taking notes diligently during sermons, and reflecting over the week
– journaling (currently focusing on recording anything to do with God’s word and praying for others)
Often, I fall short on occasion, as we all do. However, if we are in ministry for the long haul, then growing in discipleship is not an option; it is a necessity.