I’m no longer a pastor but I haven’t been away from it for so long that I’ve forgotten…
The battles that I sometimes won and sometimes lost,
The hypocrisy I often felt in thinking that my being a pastor was insane,
The times when I didn’t know what I was doing and pretended that I did,
The criticism that often came from those who I thought were friends,
The 24/7 schedule with work that was never done,
The people who left my church because they “weren’t being fed,”
The blank page late Saturday night and my reminding God about the sermon,
The incredible guilt over my family and my ministry,
The fear of discovery,
The neurotics who hated me,
The congregational meetings when I was sure it was coming apart,
The hard road of authenticity when everything I did worked against it,
The efforts at humility when people thought more of me than was justified,
The questions about whether I and what I did even mattered…
Well, you know. It goes on and on.
I try to tell my students about what being a pastor is really like but they don’t believe me until they get there. Then they “rise up and call me blessed” for having warned them.
But I also try to communicate to the students the incredible gift God gives when he calls us into ministry. There is nothing that even comes close to the grand and glorious privilege of serving as a shepherd of God’s people. Pastors get a front row seat on God’s awesome work in people’s lives, an open door into the hearts of God’s people and a taste of reality that nobody else will ever experience.
I can’t tell you the irritation I felt when someone would tell me that I didn’t live in the real world. I wanted to say (and often did), “You don’t know anything about the real world, you twit! I see more of the real world in a day than you’ll see in a lifetime. I’ve cleaned up after more suicides, stood beside more deathbeds, buried more babies, listened to more confessions, bound up more broken hearts, shared more secrets, and experienced more pain than you’ll ever know. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!”
When I left the pastorate, one of the things I missed most was the fellowship I had with other pastors…real pastors with “dirt under their fingernails.” It is a bond that few experience. It is a bond of soldiers who share war stories and laugh at the jokes nobody gets except those who have been there and done that.
That’s one of the reasons we created PoopedPastors.com. It’s for me.
But it’s for you too!
When I was a pastor there were very few “safe places.” There were those who wanted to help me build a mega-church, double the giving, increase the vision, make me effective, etc., etc., But most of them had their own agendas and were often more interested in their agendas than in mine.
So we decided to do something different. We decided to create a “safe place” for pastors and pastors only. This website is all about you. It’s a place where you can come and have fellowship with other pastors…real pastors with “dirt under their fingernails.” We don’t have an agenda except your agenda and a desire to come alongside and “hold up your arms.” We’re not trying to get something out of you, to get you to sign anything or to solicit funds. We honestly want to give you a gift.
I’m cool with a “purpose driven” life, church and ministry…but this isn’t that.
This website will grow and develop as we listen to you…not the “experts” who know what’s best for you. It is my prayer that you will come here often and that, when you do, you’ll notice the smell of Jesus.
In His Grip,