Tag Archives: emotions

Hope for Moody Pastors (Mark 3:3-6)

One reason I resisted being a “pastor” for so long was all the stereotypes I had in my head for what pastors are supposed to be like. My image always looked something like Mr. Rogers in a sweater and khakis. Warm, personable, emotionally steady, gentle and never, EVER moody.

I don’t know where I picked up that image of the pastor, but it certainly wasn’t in the Bible where God’s leaders are all over the map with their varying personalities and wild mood swings.

Moses’ temper tantrum (striking the rock) cost him the Promised Land. Jeremiah was depressed. Elijah withdrew and almost quit ministry. Peter was impulsive and often put his foot in his mouth. James and John had a violent streak earning them the nickname “Sons of Thunder.” John the Baptist was loud and abrasive, maybe wore a camel hair sweater but definitely not Mr. Rogers’ khakis. Paul was prickly and at times butted heads with others.

Ok, even admitting this diversity of characters, I at least thought I could count on Jesus to be the perfect picture of the unflappable, zen-like pastor who was always calm and collected. Or, could I?

Today I noticed and appreciated the little episode in Mark 3:3-6 where Jesus going about his ministry….and we see him breaking my Mr. Rogers-like pastoral mold. For fellow church leaders, its refreshing to see that even Jesus faced some very irritating ministry moments and difficult people. (I have a perfect church, but I’ve heard other pastors have difficult people.)

Let’s take a quick look and I’ll offer some off-the-cuff leadership insights at first glance. Continue reading Hope for Moody Pastors (Mark 3:3-6)

Masks & Belonging: Deeper than Nude Beaches & Palm Branches

309-hurtThis is a repost from a few years back. -JB

Chap Clark has written a must-read book for all youth workers and those who want to understand the current world of today’s teenagers.  Listen to these honest words of a (typical) high school student in Hurt: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers:

“I’ve always been prone to episodes of extreme loneliness and longing for a place where I could feel safe enough to let down my defenses. Because I was extremely outgoing and energetic little girl/adolescent, no one would ever guess how alone I really felt. I was the girl who was always surrounding herself with people from all “groups,” as teenagers love to place people in, but something has always felt like it was missing. Every so often this “hole” pops up in the pit of my stomach, and it can stay anywhere from a couple hours to a couple days. I have never been able to pinpoint exactly where the emptiness begins, as hard as I may try. I have many friends and acquaintances, and my home life is more than I could ask for. I just wish sometimes I could find somewhere to belong” (p. 48).

mask01We wear masks to hide what’s really going on inside ourselves. Some of us know exactly what we are trying to cover up; others cannot quite explain what we are trying to hide — but we know we are not ready to let people peer inside. Feelings of fear, inadequacy, insecurity, and an overwhelming sense of inability to meet all the expectations of parents, teachers, coaches and youth pastors send teens into hiding.

Why do we hide? Continue reading Masks & Belonging: Deeper than Nude Beaches & Palm Branches