Well, since my friends and family are tired of hearing me quote Charles Jefferson from The Minister as Shepherd. I thought I’d just put this amazing quote on the blog–so my friends in the blogging world can get tired of me, too! I’m re-reading this book (I raced through it the first time, was a required book for a course), slowly, in an attempt to sharpen up a solid pastoral theology:
The shortening of the pastorate is due to the fact that the tenderness and sacredness of the old pastoral relations are fading out. The relations of the minister to the church is now too often that of a platform speaker to an audience, of a reformer to a community, of an engineer to a machine, and not that of a friend to a company of friends. If the minister is simply a Sunday lecturer, he can leave town any day and no one will be sadder. If he is only a public reformer, he can depart at the end of any week and many persons will be glad. If he is a machinist, expert in managing organizations, his place can easily be filled by another–engineers are abundant. If he is a shepherd, if he knows his sheep by name, and if his sheep know his voice, he cannot pass from one fold to another without a great loneliness and heaviness of spirit, and without deep wounds in the hearts of those he leaves behind him. It is because the shepherd idea is faint and the orator or preacher idea is so largely dominate that churches are able to change ministers with such slight concern, and that ministers can pass from one parish to another with lightness of heart and even rejoicing. If the Church of Christ is to be saved, she must be born again into the glory of the shepherd idea.
What say you?