Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I haven't written in this blog for quite some time. I think it mostly has to do with changing from a seminarian to a pastor. As a seminarian, I could write just about whatever I wanted, without worrying about there being repercussions. As a pastor, things are a bit different. It not that I'm somehow censored as a pastor. It's not that I'm silenced. But if parishioners are reading the blog, then I have to think about what reactions they might have to my thoughts and what effects that might have in the congregation.

For some pastors, that wouldn't be a problem at all. Some pastors have a very prophetic voice and are very clear and open about their personal views -- there is no separation between the inner thoughts and the public voice.

For me, though, that's not the way it works. I feel that as pastor, I want to be a bit more neutral. I want people to know that I understand and respect a wide variety of theological and political views. Certainly I have my own views. But that doesn't mean that I think everyone has to agree with me. If I am too open with my personal opinions, that could damage my credibility as a servant-leader of all the people.

Furthermore, I come from a very different context than most of the people in the congregation, with age being the most notable difference. If I'm going to be an effective pastor, then I need to be able to understand as best I can the other viewpoints in the congregation. To at least some degree, that mean suppressing my own feelings, because they simply don't make sense in this context.

Now, with almost two years under my belt at Coos Bay First UMC, I feel like I've gained some trust and credibility. Our relationship is a bit more durable. And it may be time now to be a bit less guarded.

Now, I know that I've tried to be more diligent about writing before, and haven't followed through. That may happen again. But we'll see.


Anonymous Mary Ann said...

I'm so glad to hear from you again-- I worry a bit.ernve45ity6j5rt54iogtfuhr5ogfhjotrf8gyfgttik (That was Chun Woo's remark.)

As for the issue of being political qua pastor, I'm with you, I find. I even curtail my individual party-political activity because I think that that helps to keep me more effective as a pastor. On the other hand, I'm not very worried about folks seeing my blog-- but I friendslock entries that might be a problem. From my POV, though, those are about Unied Methodist politics, noit party politics!

6:04 PM  

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