by J. Gerald Harris

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The Picture of a Pastor (17 of 18)
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
I Peter 5:1-7

When you begin to think of the typical pastor, what kind of image do you conjure up in your mind? I don't know what kind of image surfaces in your mind, because I'm not sure what kind of image the laity has of the clergy. You may think we are a strange breed that passes all understanding. I don't know. Maybe we are.

I probably have a better understanding of the kind of images a clergyman conjures up in his mind about himself and about his role in life. For example, I know some pastors who believe they are redeemers. They have a messiah complex. There are a lot of pastors who get caught up in this at one time or another. It is the "white knight" syndrome. Using this image, there are a lot of pastors who think it is their job to get on a white horse and ride across the country rescuing everybody who is in distress.

And there are other ministers who have the "chief of staff" syndrome. Now, this is the pastor who thinks of himself as the hot shot, big shot executive. A lot of pastors in multi-staff churches are particularly prone to seeing themselves as managers. The "chief of staff" pastor makes sure the secretaries are functioning at maximum efficiency, the filing system is up-to-date, the stewardship records are administered properly and the staff reports to him like raw recruits. Of course, the trouble here, as I see it, is the tendency to administer things rather than to minister to people.

And then there is the pastor who considers himself a "golden tongued" orator. Every sermon is a literary masterpiece and every word is spoken with perfect enunciation and flawless elocution - and the sermon is crammed full of $50 words designed to impress the people with the pastor's vocabulary or intellectual acumen. You know, that would be like me going home at the end of the day and my wife greeting me and saying, "Felicitous salutations, O imminent pastor of Eastside Baptist Church. I imp ...

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