May 23 – Influence Vs. Position

#143of365 #FaithBites #FaithJourney

Before we get to today’s FaithBites, I wanted to thank everyone for their support as I was elected to serve our Congregation as the Lay Director of Witness. I am blessed. If you are interested in learning more or helping, I’d love to hear from you. We all can be witnesses and provide Pastoral Care. And now, onto Faithbites.

Influence Vs. Position or Pastoral Care Vs PASTORAL Care

No matter who we are or what we do, we have influence on others. It may be a negative or positive influence. It may be a strong or a weak influence. But nonetheless, we influence everyone around us at all times. Most of us are not aware of how our actions, words (spoken or unspoken), and presence impact those around us. This is a great power and can be used to help or harm others.

Yesterday while speaking to one of our pastors, we had the discussion about Pastoral Care. At first, I thought of being a called an ordained Pastor. You go through formal training in the Word and how to share it. This is a long process (in LCMS is it 4 years and in most cases requires residence at a seminary). Then you can perform weddings, funerals, sermons, baptism, and the Lord’s supper among many other duties. I didn’t think there was any other way to provide pastoral care. Then through discussion, I realized I am already providing some of this care. I am not a called and ordained servant. But I am called to share the word. I am, as is everyone one, called to help spread the word of God.

We don’t need to be in a position of power to have power. We don’t need to be in a leadership position (formal leadership) to provide leadership. We don’t need to be a PASTOR to be a Pastor.

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” – 2 Timothy 4:2

“Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.” – Jeremiah 3:15

 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” – Acts 6:7

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Matthew 28:19

We can all be disciples. We can all be called to spread the word of the Lord. We are not perfect and far from it. In our imperfection, we show the love of the Lord. For Faithbites, I search my feelings, I pray, and I look for inspiration in his word. My interpretation is not perfect. My goal is to share his Word and hopefully encourage you to look to the Lord for guidance and faith. This isn’t against called and ordained servants of the Lord but rather we all have a role to play and all are needed to increase the numbers of disciples and preach the word.

Another powerful aspect of this, is being able to talk openly, freely, and imperfectly.

When you see a Pastor, do you realize he (or she in different denominations) are people? They have thoughts, feelings, desires, and aspiration like us. They are no different. The problem is they don’t feel as free to speak openly. We see them as called by God and their words are his. If they ‘make a mistake’, we take that as the Gospel. (Ok, small pun intended). A prime example is when we look to our politicians. Many of them say things that we would say, but because of their position, they are held to a higher moral authority, right or wrongly so.

The influence that many PASTORS have come first from their position, then from their actions and relationships. The influence that all of us have as Witnesses providing Pastoral Care comes first form our relations and actions, then potentially from a position. In this way, we are servant-leaders in the image of Christ.

While I don’t know what the future holds for me in formal positions of leadership, my eyes have been open to the true influence and power I have as a Witness through my life of actions and relationships.

Are you ready to be a disciple? Are you ready to see the influence and power you have over those around you? Are you ready to use that influence to help and not harm?

I am ready with the help of the Lord.

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