A few days ago a friend and I were talking about my calling, and I said that, as a pastor, I want to speak truth about people into their lives–what Madeleine L’Engle calls “Naming” (more on this soon). The question then came up later: do you have to specify being a truth-speaking pastor, or is that just a pastor’s role?
I’m wrestling with this now. What are the givens in being a pastor? Obviously you shouldn’t be a lie-speaking pastor :P, but are there other ways of being a pastor besides speaking specific truths of people’s selves into them?
After I discuss naming (my next Madeleine L’Engle post), I hope what I mean by “speaking specific truths of people’s selves into them” will make more sense if it seems confusing now. Basically, it’s the idea that we draw out the best in somebody–the truth of who they are at their core–and help them see the value deep within themselves.
To some extent this seems the role of any pastor: we are called to help people become the fullness of who God has created and called them to be. But perhaps the “naming” specifically is something that comes with the gift of discernment. After all, if I can’t discern the truth of the good inside of you, I can’t name it back to you.
I also have to admit that it’s easier for me to do this kind, loving part of being a pastor than it is for me to call people out when they’re being sinful or hurtful. That part is still extremely scary to me. It doesn’t help that I don’t like conflict in general, but then the idea of having the spiritual authority to be able to call somebody out is extra scary to me. Who am I to call out anyone, especially those who are older than me?
But are there times as a pastor when we don’t share the truth? Perhaps when we love someone into truth without telling them directly? And could “truth-speaking” include non-verbal communication? These are all questions I have and things I’m seeking to figure out. In the meantime I’m just hoping to better understand my calling, making sure that I’m fulfilling what the Lord has for me.
And I hope in the process to “name” myself–to find out more about the truth of who God has made me to be. May we all continue to grow into who God desires us to be, daily walking with him and becoming more of our true selves!