Pastors-Finding the Balance

The toughest assignment I've received in a while came not from an editor or a denominational exec but from a pastor's wife. She wrote me an e-mail referencing one of my recent blog posts about the heart of a pastor.

She wrote, "My husband is a young pastor with a shepherd's heart. But it would seem the churches we've ministered in do not appreciate that. In our experience, the churches have been rebellious, stubborn, and prideful and have refused to deal with sin. The pastors have not been supported (due to congregational models of church governance) by the denomination."

She continued, "We switched denominations to an elder-type model and have found the same problems. I know that there are good' churches out there; but in our short 10 years of ministry/married life together, we have only served in one and even that one had struggles. The sheep do not want to be shepherded."

She asked, "What does one do when dealing with wolves in sheep's clothing?' What about when they are in leadership (elders of the church)? How does one blend the authority with the gentle heart of a shepherd? I would really love to hear wise perspective on these issues."

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