Pastoral Job Descriptions

October 21, 2009

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away; actually, it was Fredericton in 1985, but it seems like a different time and a different world. I was a young pastor, attending one of my first annual Pastors retreats with Wesleyan pastors from around the Atlantic District. It was an open forum and various pastors were lamenting not having written job descriptions in their churches, complaining about the unwritten expectations their churches and parishioners had for them. After this went on for awhile, a short man with a gravely voice, a British accent and shock of white hair stood up and said, “My job description comes from Acts 6:4, to give myself continually to prayer and the ministry of the word.” Then he sat down.

Walter Fernley seemed ancient and wise that day. I attended Walter’s funeral this week. His legacy to me has been whenever I have felt overwhelmed during the past 24 years by what I have to do, I think back, hear a gravely voice with a British accent reminding me, “My job description comes from Acts 6:4, to give myself continually to prayer and the ministry of the word.” Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.