Courage to allow the church to suffer

The church needs pastors who lead the church in repentance with love.  The church needs pastoral leadership that refuses to take the shortcuts and has the courage to allow the church to suffer so that the whole church can be a parable of Jesus.

David Hansen in The Art of Pastoring: Ministry without all the answers.

That second sentence is the one which challenges me.  I know that I tend to protect the church where I can.  I protect individuals from the pain of their desert experiences where I can.

I do it in the name of love.

Yet I know that it is the deserts, the Deus absconditus moments, which have made me.

And so I ask:

What if I had the courage to allow these beautiful people to suffer so that God can work in them what he always intended with that desert experience?

What if I were able to stand back, to watch their desert loneliness without always trying to rescue, that the whole church might be a parable of Jesus?

What if, indeed.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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