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Religion/spirituality

The Best Pastors.

(18 Posts)
Alexa Tue 15-Oct-19 00:35:49

The best pastors have the hardest time as they are the ones who try to please everyone in the congregation who may include individuals from very different backgrounds of faith and no faith.

GrauntyHelen Tue 15-Oct-19 00:57:35

As a pastor I disagree

rosecarmel Tue 15-Oct-19 01:10:42

The best pastors share their personal experience with their congregation because the experience of being human is something anyone could relate to-

Sillygrandma5GK Tue 15-Oct-19 20:12:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

grannyactivist Wed 16-Oct-19 20:10:55

Hello Alexa, I suspect that if you asked 50 people what makes a good pastor you'd likely get up to 50 different answers, but I'm wondering what prompted your obeservation? Noting the lateness of your post I thought maybe something has happened to trouble you?

Alexa Fri 18-Oct-19 20:19:01

Thank you Grannyactivist for your kind concern. I was okay. I sometimes go to bed far too late, and I am interested in how pastors manage to include doubters and reasoners in their flocks. Some sects are doctrinally prescriptive and others are liberal.

grannyactivist Sat 19-Oct-19 20:26:21

My own view is that I welcome doubters and reasoners and think of my own faith as a bit like the story of the elephant. You know the one where several people each have contact with part of an elephant and can only relate to the bit they 'see' and then think that's all there is - I think that now we 'see' in part and God is big and glorious enough to be perceived in many ways until one day we shall all see God in truth.

I have fewer problems with people who wrestle with genuinely trying to understand the Christian faith than with some who have a very narrow, prescriptive faith, but somehow can't seem to understand that the mark of the christian is a loving acceptance of individuals as they are.

Greenfinch Sat 19-Oct-19 20:51:15

Excellent post grannyactivist.

LondonGranny Sat 19-Oct-19 21:13:30

Seconded

phoenix Sun 20-Oct-19 00:24:47

When my youngest son died, my ex husband was very involved in a local church, and he (ex dh & his then partner) more or less took over the arrangements for the funeral etc.

The "pastor" communicated with me by text message!, and actually said that as I lived some way out from his "parish" perhaps we could meet in a coffee shop at a halfway point to discuss the funeral.

I'm sure you can imagine my reaction to that.

Would you want to discuss the funeral arrangements for your 19 year old son in a public place, just because it was more "convenient" for the so called " pastor "????

grannyactivist Sun 20-Oct-19 00:38:41

No Phoenix I wouldn't. sad

I would however want to ensure that the Pastor heard my views on what a compassionate response would actually be in those circumstances! angry

WharfedaleGran Sun 20-Oct-19 08:36:37

Wow, grannyactivist, what a great response! It was the narrow, prescriptive views (admittedly of individuals, often hidden behind a façade of "holiness") and an ensuing church split that eventually drove me from what I think of as "churchianity" about eight years ago, rapidly followed by the loss of meaning of faith in general. I've been working through it ever since and more or less at a place of acceptance and peace now.

Phoenix, I'm so sorry to read of the loss of your son, and of your dreadful experience afterwards.

Alexa, thank you for posting. It caught my eye in the "discussions of the day box". I will follow with interest. Hoping that it won't turn into one of those "light the touch paper and stand back" threads 😊

Septimia Sun 20-Oct-19 12:09:05

I don't understand the question.

Why would people of no faith be in the pastor's congregation anyway? Surely the congregation is made up of those who go to church.

Of course, he would still need to deal with the wider community. That's a different matter.

Septimia Sun 20-Oct-19 12:09:28

He or she, of course!

grannyactivist Sun 20-Oct-19 14:50:50

There are often people of no faith in a congregation Septimia. Some come to find out what it's all about, others come for a particular service, but in my experience most are kindly people who come along to accompany a spouse or a relative even when they don't have a faith of their own.

Septimia Sun 20-Oct-19 15:34:15

Hmm. I suppose that hasn't been my experience. But we are a small church in a small village. About the only time we get people of no faith is for weddings and funerals. Even those who don't attend regularly but come for occasions like Christmas and Harvest must have some sort of belief.

I know people who do come to church but their other halves don't come with them, because they are of no faith. The OHs do support them in the things they do for the church, though, e.g. by cutting the churchyard grass or attending fundraising activities.

phoenix Sun 20-Oct-19 15:45:45

Perhaps Septimia if you substitute the word "parish" for "congregation" you might see the question in a different light?

Septimia Sun 20-Oct-19 18:15:43

That's a good point, phoenix. Perhaps I was just confused by the way the question was phrased.

If you want a good pastor/vicar/priest/ imam/rabbi, or whatever you call them, then it's best if they have experience outside their calling as well, including dealing with hardships.