Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The pastor's public persona and private life...

Thanks to Justin Taylor for posting the following insights from Paul Tripp:

Pastors, these notes from Paul Tripp’s seminar are worth reading carefully and prayerfully:

The Pastor: Who Do We Think He Is Anyway?
The Pastor: Not Yet Perfect, Still Under Attack

Here’s one section, on the temptation of a public/private dichotomy in the life of a pastor:

I don’t know if you think about this, but if you live in Western culture, we are used to big borders between your public persona and your private life. By the time you are nine years old you learn that there are things you don’t talk about and must protect. We live in an incredibly individualized culture. We are very used to living in networks of terminally casual relationships. We are very used to living as fundamentally unknown. What that can promote is this disconnect between public ministry and the actual realities of my private life. Not only do those exist, but no one knows they exist because few people know me.

How many people actually know you? How many people are aware of, concerned about, ministering to, not the public guy of leadership, but to the private man? How many people know what kind of relationship you have with your wife? How many people know what kind of dad you are, the condition of your finances, what you do with the rest of your evening when you leave your study, where you go on your computer? How many people in your life actually step over that boundary between public persona and private life?

Would you say that there is any way in your life that the public man is different than the private man? Is there consistency between public confession, public preaching, public calls to godliness and the way you approach your life, or is there incongruity?

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