Sunday, November 03, 2013

“I quit because I didn’t want to run the damn church"-Eugene Peterson ( video interview by Rick McKinley)

Catalyst West 2011: Eugene Peterson from Catalyst on Vimeo.
Notes on this talk by Tony Morgan:

  • on starting a church: “I want to make sure these people know about God and know each other.”
  • “I had an adrenaline problem. I loved adrenaline.”
  • on faking it as a pastor: “I made motions that I was doing something.”
  • “How can I expect them to know what a pastor does when I was trying to figure it out myself?”
  • on resigning to become a “pastor”: “I quit because I didn’t want to run the damn church.”
  • on the elders running the church: “They made stupid decision sometimes.”
  • “I stopped looking at people as problems to fix.”
  • “Being a pastor is a pretty modest job. We’re not very important in the economy of the world. But we’re pretty important in the economy of the Kingdom.”
  • “Don’t let the culture define our position.”
  • on reading about previous pastors: “We need to pay attention to the people who have done it well.”
  • on the church: “We’ve never been successful. Yet, all through this, salvation is being worked out.”
  • on being a pastor: “It’s not glamorous… It’s hard, but it’s glorious.”
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 Notes by Tim Schraeder:

  • A lifetime of influence always reflects a person of character.
  • A pastor is not a job description, it’s a life that’s shaped in a certain way.
  • We are all shaped by our environments.
  • To try and model yourself after someone else is almost always a mistake.
  • Being a pastor is the most context-specific vocation there is.
  • As a pastor, your life is your vocation.
  • As a pastor he knew what he wanted to do but didn’t know how to do it.
  • He didn’t want to be an “entertainment” pastor.
  • He didn’t want to be Presbyterian, that was like doing bookkeeping.
  • He wanted to makes sure people knew about God and that they knew each other.
  • A Holy God, a holy congregation.
  • He knew he needed to be insistently local, the congregation is a local place.
  • It has to be personal, you have to have relationships with all of the people.
  • There was still a church building to be built and funds to be raised.
  • He realized he had an adrenaline addiction… he liked to compete.
  • He realized he didn’t know how to be a pastor but realized his congregation didn’t know what was a pastor was either… so he was proactive to make sure they knew who he was as a pastor and so he could know who they were as a church.
  • He didn’t want to run a church, he wanted to be a pastor.
  • All of us learn how to do what we are doing while we’re on the job.
  • None of us are exempt from learning how to be a pastor on the job and to trust the people who are with us on the job.
  • We need to let other people be ministers along with us.
  • You need to give people responsibility and authority to create a holy community.
  • Determine not to look at people as problems to fix.
  • Do not look at people as resources to use.
  • Doing either of this is dehumanizing.
  • Treat people with dignity and as eternal souls, not as ways to make a living.
  • Most of the leadership models we have given to us in our secular culture have to do with getting something done.
  • Making money, building something, going on a mission, etc.
  • A pastor’s chief job is not to get something done but to pay attention to what’s going on and to be able to name it and to encourage it.
  • We live in a secularized world where leadership positions almost entirely do with having to get something done and figuring out how to do it.
  • A pastor has a unique position in the church of Christ to be on the ground and local in a community, paying attention to what God is doing and helping people see it through the exposition of Scripture and teaching.
  • People pay more attention to listening.
  • The Bible is our Story.
  • The pastoral vocation has to do with being available to people, to lead them into maturity and in the life of Christ without mimicking you.
  • People need to grow in Christ in the context of who they are, in their vocations, etc.
  • Being a pastor is a modest job. We are not important in the economy of the world… we are, however, important in the economy of the Kingdom of God.
  • Worship, teaching, silence and being present are major parts of being a pastor.
  • Everybody has a story.
  • Spiritual formation doesn’t mean getting a bunch of disciplines together and doing them, it means paying attention to what’s going on in your life.
  • The caution: don’t let culture define our position and our vocation.
  • Secular culture infiltrates the church… we live in a sea of secularity, it’s hard not to be influenced by it.
  • Think deeply, pray deeply, read widely in the literature of pastors.
  • Steep yourself in the community and company of pastors.
  • This is a unique vocation and we can learn from a lot of people and we need to pay attention to the people who have done it well.
  • Understand the inner-workings of the pastoral life.
  • Steep yourself in the literature of the life of faith.
  • Keep your guard up against the secular stuff going on around us.
  • There is a lot of pessimism in the church today.
  • We’ve been in this position so many times … for 2,000 years, and for 2,000 years before that as a Jewish community.
  • We’ve never been successful at it.
  • Israel was only faithful every once in awhile…
  • All throughout it, though, salvation is still working out in spite of us.

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