Through Pause for Pastors, I have offered stories and ideas about slowing our pace, balancing our lives, and taking better care of ourselves. In this chapter, I invite us to balance attitudes of submissiveness to those in authority while living an autonomous life. We can live healthier in life and ministry if we serve under the covering of others while also not trying to perfectly fit in anywhere.
Think about this. Who holds you accountable? To maintain submissive hearts is to be sure someone serves over us, that we are answerable to someone.
I know that it isn’t cool these days to be a part of a denomination. I also know the flaws of denominations and traditions and governmental structure.
But we shouldn’t let those weaknesses entice us away from finding healthy leaders who hold us accountable. Being answerable to an honest leader helps our own spiritual formation.
None of this, though, means we need to become just like anyone else. Learning from someone does not mean being controlled by them. Serving does not mean waving goodbye to our own unique gifts and interests.
Pause and find the balance. Submit while being unique. Follow our leaders correctly rather than inappropriately.
As you glance at yourself and your leaders, keep God in the picture. How is God directing you through them? How is God daring you to be someone no one else in that group can be?
Finding this balanced approach can also help you find unneeded motives in your big picture of ministry. A person in authority can—at least, should—be asking you profound questions. And, a healthy grasp of your true self can—if you know yourself well enough and if you keep your motives right—be asking you these same questions.
October is #PastorAppreciationMonth. Write thank you notes. Pray. Speak words of encouragement. And purchase copies of Pause for Pastors to give away as gifts to clergy.