the community and the shepherd

3 06 2008

When the members of a community of faith cannot truly know and love their shepherd, shepherding quickly becomes a subtle way of exercising power over other and begins to show authoritarian and dictatorial traits…

Ministers and priests are also called to be full members of their communities, are accountable  to them and need their affection and support and are called to minister with their whole being, including their wounded selves

the culture of this time would have the common person or churchgoer assume that secrecy is one of the most valued traits that humankind must cling onto.  some sort of lie has been built up to suggest that the human being must keep themselves hidden from those around them.  such a thought process has crept into the minds of those who lead our churches, preach to the masses, and proclaim the Good News in their lives, of which i myself am a guilty member.  i’ve kept secrets, we all have, and still do to this day, but i suppose the point of Nouwen here is to expose the minister or priest as above that standard.

if we are truly to be about community and about brothers and sisters in Christ caring for one another, we must choose to be open and transparent with each other, even if stings and wounds us.  as proclaimers of the Word we can stand up on Saturday night, Sunday morning, or whatever midweek program we run and tell people that they need to be a part of community and know what it means to love one another.  but as the one saying it and telling others about the value and importance, are we truly doing it ourselves?

maybe the reason we feel so burned out, useless, and abandoned in ministry is because we chose to hide ourselves on a higher platform than the community we are to be a part of.  we’re not to be set apart from our communities, we are to be one within it, so we must choose to be transparent and vulnerable as such so that not only can we minister to the needs of the community, but the community might minister to the needs of the leader.

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a deeper meaning

30 12 2007

what this all means to me is beyond comprehension at the present moment. i think i’m doing this as a way to remain sane, whilst attempting to delve deeper into the complexities of my own being. if i knew exactly what this was about and where it was all coming from, i don’t think i’d be here doing this right now.

it’s always been suggested that journaling is a way to reflect, learn, and grow. for me it may be the idea of going further than where i am at right now, to push beyond the mediocre and dwell on that which is far greater than the mere existence of my humanity. this all is a microcosm of a personal blog or journal of my own, and thoughts that come randomly to my mind. i’m not wanting to talk about greatness of the beauty of self in all of this, but of what life presents and how that in turn molds the individual. there are vast ideas, both theological and practical which are full of longing, as well as events of so-called human nature which cause the pondering of the mind. there is not enough space for my little brain to contain this, so perhaps this is a measure of memory storage as well.

life is by no means, and never quite will be, easy. it does however provoke the soul of the individual to ponder and ask questions of the one who creates and has created. and those questions are longing, ever so deeply, to be answered by a Father who cares enough to sit down and hash it out with me, whenever i might get the guts to do so.

and so i leave it at that. faith does not come to the weary, but to those who choose to persevere and trust that they might gain what has been offered through the sacrifice of the broken. that doesn’t make a ton of sense right now, but it might in a little while.