Pastors – The Five-Cs

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I came across an article about pastors that I would like to share with you. It’s written by Pastor David Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop of the North American Lutheran Church. He lists several characteristics of being a pastor.  (1) The pastor is Christ-Centered. This means that a pastor is in Christ and abiding in His Word. Jesus uses this image, “As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” We are to be in His Word regularly, faithfully, hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd—chewing on it, digesting it, and having it become part of our very body and soul.

(2) The pastor cares. Wendel cites an article published in 1902 by Dr. G.H. Gerberding: “Seelsorge!  We have nothing to correspond with it in English. It means the cure and care of souls. This is what a pastor is for.”  Everything the pastor does—in preaching, teaching, leadership, visitation, Baptism, administration of the Sacraments—is done for the sake of the care and nurturing of the soul, the spiritual life of the individual and the flock as a whole.  The pastor is to serve in Christ’s stead. This presupposes a healthy, well-grounded, well-balanced person as pastor.

(3) The pastor is compassionate. Compassionate is defined as “a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.; sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”  In the Gospels many times Jesus had compassion on people He encountered.

(4) The pastor has the character of Christ. Character includes the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual; personality, nature, disposition, temperament, temper, mentality, and makeup. St. Paul desires every disciple and follower of the Lord to be of one heart and mind—that of Jesus Christ. This character is expressed in what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, and worthy of praise. Such Christ-like character should earn the respect of the pastor’s congregation.

(5) The pastor is connected. St. Paul describes the Church as the body—different parts, yet all connected and essential to proper functioning.  Being connected means there is open, honest and transparent communication among pastor, lay leaders, and the congregation as a whole, so that healthy relationships built on trust are developed. More than that, the pastor must be connected with the Lord, abiding in His Word.

I share this information with you so that you can help me to be more effective in serving as your pastor. I am well aware that I fall short and do not always live up to these qualities and characteristics; for that I need your forgiveness. I thank you for your prayers and support of our mutual ministry. Together with the power of God’s Holy Spirit, we are the church God wants here at Peace. You can read the entire article in the NALC May Newsletter.

Peace, Pastor Kurt Wandrey

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