The Shopkeeping Pastor

Thought this was such a thought provoking quote:

“The pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches.”

Eugene Peterson (@PetersonDaily)
12/29/14, 7:36 AM

It’s true on so many levels, from the way pastors care, maintain and treat everything from people and families and budgets, to physical buildings and possessions.

How we constantly try and think of new ways to serve a community, produce a constant stream of content, and pull off weekly “shows” that hopefully please both God and man.

How we’re are always looking to expand the kingdom’s influence and reach more people, expanding into “new markets.”

New ways to market what we’re doing, maintaining the integrity of what people experience (a brand).

Long hours, few reprieves.

Strategizing, praying, meeting, counseling, brainstorming, assessing, hiring, firing, accounting, resourcing.

We must have a clear mission, but never at the expense of our values. A mission without values leaves hurting people in its wake.

We’re spiritual shopkeepers in a material world. The correlations between being an entrepreneur and a pastor are too numerous to count, and the disciplines required for both are tightly bound.

Thank you, Pastors, for all you carry; thank you Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists and Teachers. May the five-fold positions of ministry continue to keep the shop lights on for those walking in the dark.


“I Don’t Know of Any Good Churches”

It’s an old line. And you’ve heard it, too. Maybe you’re even guilty of saying it. But it comes in many styles.

“The Church is a mess.”

“Pastors are all two-faced.”

“No one preaches the Gospel anymore.”

And the best one: “I’ve looked for a good church in my area, but there just isn’t one.”

So I wanted to take a poll, open to those who were willing to respond, and find out how their church experience was on Sunday:

How would you describe your church service yesterday in 3 words or less? Ready…go!

I got lots of responses on FaceBook. Some were cute:

Bernard Rochat The big Apple

Jena D Sandquist Quesada Loved Sleeping In!!!! (Sorry, couldn’t stop myself)

Jon Allen ya… slept in!

Some where candid:

Millardthemk Jones Ok but powerless.

Joni Merg A Wilderness Journal

And the rest were–strangely–very contradictory of the statements I listed at the top:

Stephanie Lyon Reminder of Redemption!

Elizabeth Eiowing Dresdow AWESOME!!! 😀

Tammy Alberry Desormo Anointed, Rockin’, Encouraging =D

Tim Desormo Uplifting, Encouraging, Awesome

Samantha Vence Changing, Active, Spiritual :)

Sharon Whitlock Gold Uplifting

Theresa Woodkirk The naked truth!

Elyssa Krivicich convicting, many babies…. (There were 5 babies getting dedicated yesterday).

Marti Eggleston people get ready!

Reenie Bovier real love

Donna Stanley alive, powerful, inspirational

Jamie Jo Rutigliano Alive ! Anointed ! Awesome !

Jonathan Cowan spirit, truth, love

Kathleen Seery Anointed !Restoring ! Hope !

Amy MacDougall It hit home!

Joseph Anthony Cook Intensely Spirit Filled!!

Sandi Kirkwood Bethel was beautiful

Beth Walrath Awakening, powerful, encouraging.

Courtney Kleefeld hyper, redeeming, inspiring.

Wayne Thomas Batson Forgiveness is expensive.

Julie A. Mason Shelmidine ?”Open the BLINDS!”

Thomas Brennan Encountered by Christ.

And then the best one, that pretty much sums up how I feel about the Body of Christ:

Millardthemk Jones Wow ma, I just read all the comments, people must have had great sundays!

Yes! They did! Despite what the critics claim, the Church is a glorious, wonderful thing, full of life, change, adventure, and growth, hit by pain, defeats, and hardship, and driven by flawed, passionate people who are ever attempting to merge heaven and earth.

I learned from my senior pastor that whenever someone makes a sweeping generalization condemning some aspect of the church, we should always reply with a question: “Who?”

Most people, I’ve found, can actually name one person that embodies their accusation. Maybe even two. Because it’s their experience. And at least in identifying those particulars we can have a legitimate discussion.

But when the entire Body of Christ takes the blame for one or two poor experiences–whether a moment or a season–we do God a terrible injustice. The Bride, you see, is His invention, not ours. (And He likes her enough to come back for Her).

My friend Chris Mooney summarized this best when–without knowing the details of this post–replied to a my status update that I was writing something about the Bride of Christ:

Chris Mooney careful writing about someone’s bride, tends to be taken personal by the hubby. :)

So how was your church experience this past Sunday? Please add to the conversation.