I think deep down every pastor wishes he were God. It's within our hearts to want to heal every hurt, save every person and be loved by everyone. Here is the problem, I'm not God, nor is any pastor. When it comes down to the tall task of investing spiritually into the lives of a congregation every pastor will fail because he simply can't meet every need.
When my wife and I lived in Oklahoma we had the wonderful opportunity to serve in a normal church. (most churches are under 100 people). It was in Oklahoma that God affirmed my call to do more than just preach, but he affirmed my call to pastor. I loved being there for the flock God gave me, especially when they hurt. That said, try as I did, I could never reach my own expectations nor the tall task of shepherding every person. I'm not God.
Fast forward. Today I am pastor of Memorial Baptist Church. Our church runs well over 250 people and at this moment I am the only full time staff member. I have noticed that the church as an organization takes up most of my time. With a church this size there is more administratively that needs to be done than in a 100 member church. Couple this with the fact that I am shepherding close to 300 people and I begin to feel like butter spread to thin on a piece of toast. I want to be there for every person. I want to council and love and help fix all that is broken in my members lives. There just isn't enough of me. I'm not God.
On the first day of catalyst in the first session I came to two great realizations. 1. It's not my job to fix/ bring hope/ change or save people. That's God's. My job is simply to point people to him. 2. My influence in people's lives will be minimal if I invest 5 minutes into 300 people.
This morning Andy Stanley challenged us to rethink the way we do ministry. He challenged us to move away from a "invest in crowd minimally" model to a "invest in a few deeply" model. Jesus had 12 disciples and the truth is he poured himself into three. Once you pour into a few then they can poor into others. The question I'm wrestling with now is, how do I find balance? The concept is good, I need to spend more time investing deeply, but how do I continue to love and care for the whole?
What do you think?