The power, longevity and effectiveness of a church lies in large part on the leadership of its pastor(s). It shouldn't be about his or her administrative skills or ability to jump at every whim a member of the congregation brings forward. It should be about the spiritual life and leadership of the pastor. This isn't about perfection. It's about relationship with God. As a lay person who is active in the local church and works in a ministry to pastors, my heart delights in a pastor who puts God first and everything else in its proper place. You see, when the pastor's hunger for God is alive and well and being fed I can see it, and I have a role model to follow. When the pastor's life demonstrates the results of intimacy with Christ, I am motivated and encouraged.
As a lay person, I was brought up short because for too long I have measured my pastors by the to do list he accomplishes and the teaching she does. I have not always allowed them the space to do the most important things - being the guardian and teacher of the word and sacrament, abiding in Christ through prayer, and being the spiritual director I need rather than the quick answer to a problem I bring forward. I stand corrected.
My hope is that this book crosses the desk of every pastor in America, to renew his or her call to ministry, to give permission and encouragement in keeping the promises of ordination and installation. It will radically change the pastorate and the Church it ministers to.
Well done, Pastor Peterson. Thank you for your honesty, your leadership, and your willingness to be real and tell it like it is.