Read Acts 1:12-16
Read it again
Read it one more time…
Being a pastor isn’t easy. There are some things that make it easier rather than harder, but one thing we have to understand as a pastor, is exactly what our role is. We are set apart but within.
We are set apart because of our role. We are a leader. We’re the ones who have to ask the hard questions of a congregation and a congregant. We’re also the ones who sometimes have to answer the hard questions, particularly that one difficult question of “why?”
As a pastor, we are not a complete part of the congregation. As much as we don’t want it to be true, we are held to different standards than the every day Christian simple because we’ve chosen to put on the garb of a leader. My mom was visiting me one time, and I went to go pick her up at the airport and she was telling me about this woman she was talking to on the plane.
The woman was telling my mom all about her life, how she was on her first marriage, how she had a child before she was married etc etc. Basically regular conversation when a new grandmother asks a young woman about life in general. Well my mom mentioned I was a pastor of two congregations north of the city they were flying into, and instantly, the conversation shifted. Suddenly, the young woman was apologizing for having a child before her marriage, was trying to justify her decisions and mistakes in life.
My mom mentioned it all to me afterward and said this, “I think I now know what you go through. That’s was sad.” And it’s true. It is sad. As pastors we experience the highs and the lows of someone’s life, the births, the deaths, the accidents, the graduations. But there is a film that goes across it, a layer of this is my pastor that makes the connection not as true as it would be if it was congregant to congregant.
That film comes because we are from among the crowds, much like Peter. “In those days Peter stood up among the believers…” Peter was someone who stood out, who had different rules. Part of that was because he sort of understood Jesus, but he tried hard to understand what was going on. He worked on his belief and his faith and following Jesus daily. He was someone who was called to lead from the start, to stand out among the other disciples and followers of Christ.
Pastors are much like Peter in that sense, and in the sense, that we don’t always get it, sometimes we have doubts, and sometimes, yes, we mess up. We are humans. We are part of broken humanity, praying for forgiveness and healing and to be made whole by our Savior. Pastors are from among, separated but still a part of. Simple yet crazy complicated.