Continuing to be spurred by “On the Brink: Grace for the Burned Out Pastor” by Clay Werner. You can get it from Hearts and Minds Bookstore at a discount by saying you heard about it on this blog. Today, just four quotes that hit home to me as I consider how often we pastors complain about our local church. And this is something that doesn’t just apply to pastors…it’s for anyone who is a member of a local church. Here it goes:
From Dietrich Bonhoeffer (quoted on page 59 of Werner’s book):
A pastor should not complain about his congregation, certainly never to other people, but also not to God. A congregation has not been entrusted to him in order that he should become its accuser before God and men. … [The pastor] had better examine himself first to see whether the trouble is not due to his wish dream that should be shattered by God; and if this be the case, let him thank God for leading him into this predicament.
From Eugene Peterson (quoted on page 60 of Werner’s book):
Maybe the church as we have it provides the very conditions and proper company congenial for growing up in Christ, for becoming mature, for arriving at the measure of the stature of Christ. Maybe God knows what he is doing, giving us church, this church.
From Tim Chester (quoted on page 60 of Werner’s book):
One of the great things about living as part of a community is that in a community people walk all over your idols. People press your buttons. … And that gives us opporutnities to spot our idolatrous desires.
From Clay Werner (on page 57)
When we remember the reality of depravity and the grace of our and their identity, we will cherish and be patient with the community in which God has graciously placed us.