“The Imperfect Pastor” – with Dr. Zack Eswine
“It’s hard to imagine a book packed with more grace and insight into the extraordinary life of the ordinary pastor. So I’ll quit trying and just read Zack Eswine’s The Imperfect Pastor again. No one today shows more insight into the perils and joys of everyday ministry in the local church—a refreshingly honest and beautifully written meditation.”
—Mark Galli, Editor, Christianity Today
- Finding Rest When There Isn’t Any (Parts 1 & 2)
- The Pastor as Caregiver: Learning to Listen
There is a time when faithful servants must rest, and they have a role to play, because after all, someone had to stay behind in the city, didn’t they, with the baggage? I think about those of us as we get older, we’re not able to physically able to do what we once did, and we wonder if being with the baggage is noble. And the answer from the shepherd king is yes. I declare it, as a way of being in the world for us, this is our rule. And I think about those of us who have known mental and emotional fatigue and disablement, and we wonder if we matter, and with the shepherd king, he says yes, you do. It is a way of being among us. In our organizational culture, this is our way. We will not fight one another. We will recognize each person’s role with the amount of work that they can do and the rest that they need. And then he says, all of us, join in this spoil, because God has done it.
Are you emotionally fatigued? It is ugly prayer that you need.
All the physical rest that you desire will not bring the rest you need if it’s emotional fatigue. It will help, it is important, but you’re going to have to ugly pray. Have you ever thought or noticed it like this, like I’ll think to myself in the fall, Midwestern fall, leaves turn different colors and things like that, we eat foods called chili, we watch football. And I’ll think to myself, if I just watch a football game, I’ll rest. And even if my team wins, the game ends, and I am not rested. Even if I laid there physically and did nothing and just put food in my mouth, not chili of course, that would be difficult, but you know, you know what I mean? It’s because whatever’s troubling me internally requires strengthening in the Lord through ugly prayer and there’s no way around it. No amount of video games for younger men, no amount of work in the yard, no amount of physical tinkering in the garage, no amount of taking a nap from the kids, no amount of whatever it is is going to do it, I must ugly pray.