'When facing a difficult pastoral decision those of us in the leadership of the church need to remind ourselves that the first question we have to ask is, 'What is the right thing to do?' |And only then move to the second question, 'What is the most pastoral way to do it?'
Nicky Gumbel, BiOY notes on Jeremiah
Coincident with this, I read this observation in a book I've just started:
'Jeremiah received a tough calling from God; to speak God's word to God's people. The words God wanted Jeremiah to speak were words of warning to shake them up and wake them up, But nothing goes well for Jeremiah. No one likes what he has to say.
God tells him to keep speaking, so he does. He gets beaten and put on display for shame. And in Jeremiah 20, he tells God how he feels: You sweet talked me....and I bought it. This isn't what I had in mind." Jeremiah was torn between being faithful to his calling and his ache for success.
The call to lead is never easy. And it often requires us to prioritize faithfulness over success. We must learn to give up the ache to be successful in the eyes of the world and go with what God is calling us to do. Leaders of God's people always sense this inherent tension to their calling: in their ministry, in their personal life, and in the pursuit of their God given mission'
'The Call to Lead: Following Jesus and Living out your mission'
Hybels, Ortberg and Allender,