Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"The pastor's job is to keep watch over...."

Fill in these blanks; then you can read on.

  • "The pastor/shepherd's job is to keep watch over __________"
  • "Your most anointed ministry as a pastor/leader will flow from your being ___________."
One of the 298 things I love about Russell Willingham is that when he speaks, it is an event; what someone has called a "habitat."

And he nails us, in love.

Like he did those at the pastors/leaders breakfast at the Exodus International Fresno event.
The event was free..

and expensive.

First sentence was easy; as it's just quoting a famous Scripture. So why do most pastors flunk whenever Russ asks the question?

Because if we fill in the obvious, and wrong, answer:

"the sheep,"
"the flock" or
"the people"...

it simply shows how shoddy and selective our Scriptural study has been; and how careless and prayerless we are about our first and foremost job:

"Keep watch over yourselves..

and  (then) all the flock." (Acts 20:28)


How about the second sentence, if you dare. Russ flat-out promised that
"your most anointed ministry as a pastor/leader will flow from your being:

publicly imperfect."

Uh, of course that was my answer. (:

"You have heard it said that you should not get too close to your people.
There is a word in Greek for that!"

You know the word.

He kept on us, the rascal.

The Scripture says, "Set an example in your speech and life" (1 Tim 4:10).
Our speech is probably alright...but how us our life?"

The Scripture asks leaders to "watch your life and doctrine closely" (4:16).
Russ suggests that most of us watch our doctrine, but not our life.

And part and parcel of our leadership/modeling is to stop "robbing our people of priceless ministry by speaking of our own sins in generalities." When we start doing this (he of course acknowledged the unnecessary extreme of sharing everything everywhere), "they'll think we're just being falsely modest." But what was Paul's example?: "I am chief of sinners."
Russell said, "I'm so bad, I need the blood of Jesus today."

There's also a word in Greek for that.

Thanks, Russ.


  1. That's awesome.

    I may have to steal from that for a blog post!

  2. That's it, Peter.

    Do you know Russell?

  3. Never heard of him I'm afraid!

  4. we need to have lunch sometime..the three of us...Russ's office is on the same campus as Fr. Carlos.


    I see your Facebook is Fresno, but your email is UK..are you in the UK?

  5. I'm in Hanford. Originally from the UK.

    I was actually supposed to meet with Fr. Carlos this week but some vandalism to my car stopped me from doing so.

    Meeting up for lunch or something would be great. Thursdays or Fridays are best for me!

  6. I would add, that a pastor's second job is to watch over his family. Then his flock. I mean watch over them as husband and fathers not as their pastor.

  7. Thanks Kimberly, Tell me about it, Important point


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!