(The Pastor) The Neediest One in the Room
When we think of a clergyperson in our culture today, we typically see them as someone who is good at being good.
It makes perfect sense. In general society, the professional is the expert. She is BETTER than those she serves. This is (thank God) true for brain surgeons, taxidermists, dental workers, and teachers.
But I don’t see this as the role of a clergyperson…
Rather than being BETTER (at being good) than those they serve, the role of the clergyperson should be to be more publicly IN NEED (of God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness) than they are.
Rather than being a perfectly pious specimen of human (aka someone who is faking it) looming over those in the pews, a God-needy pastor connects more deeply with their people. It also gives those in the pews permission to bring their entire selves to church when they see that their priest has gone before them to the foot of the cross.
Now, I’m not saying that the pulpit is the place for the pastor to air out every dirty detail of her life. Her vocation requires tact. Preaching and pastoring are skills worth paying for.
But an expert at goodness, the pastor is not.