I’ve been doing this pastoring thing for a long time. In one form or another for over forty-six years. Are you kidding me? That’s my whole adult life! I started this gig in 1973. You do the math…
For about twenty-five of those years, I taught young ministry students in a couple of different Bible colleges. I considered it an honor and a responsibility to pass on what I had learned from the pastors, authors, teachers, and the many godly men and women whom I counted as friends and mentors along the way. I am indebted to those who discipled me when I was younger and who pointed me in the right direction and encouraged me to learn from my own experience in church leadership.
My days of teaching in an institution of higher learning have apparently passed me by. Those book deals the big dog pastors get? Not in the cards. An invitation to speak at a ministry conference? I’m pretty sure the cost is too steep to insure me walking up on the stage and risking a nose-dive.
So I will write. Here. To an unknown audience who isn’t exactly lining up to sit at my feet and savor the morsels of my experience or collect the table-scraps of wisdom of what I’ve learned about pastoring along the way.
But, hey. I’ll take what I can get. And Wanda still listens when I pontificate. At least she does during the commercials when Fixer Upper is on.
Years ago, I had a student in a youth ministry class I was teaching at a Bible college. He was arrogant, lazy, entitled, and didn’t listen. He came from a large church with a huge youth group, with a well known youth pastor. He told me he was only taking the class because it was required and he already knew enough to be a youth pastor.
I flunked him.
Some years later, he was hired at the same church where I was the youth pastor when I was his teacher in Bible college. He told an old friend of mine that I was just a “bitter old man who was out of touch with youth ministry.” (That was about 25 years ago, btw…)
After a couple of years he was fired.
“You think Yoda stops teaching, just because his student does not want to hear? A teacher Yoda is. Yoda teaches like drunkards drink, like killers kill.” – Yoda
The Star Wars franchise has been around the whole time I’ve been an adult. I’ve never really been a total fanboy, but I’ve always had a deep connection to the mentor – apprentice relationships that are embedded in the soul of every story line. The gentle wisdom of Yoda and the passion of Obi-Wan Kenobi for the ways of the Jedi and the training of Luke Skywalker are set in parables that inspire me.
So here I will teach. Here I will assume the Yoda-esque posture of one who has been there. Here I will don the Obi-Wan robe and offer what has been given to me.
Maybe there is a ministry Skywalker out there who will listen.
I will be back.