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New Resource and Other Thoughts About Pastors As Human Beings

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 13, 2009 by prkt

Pastor Todd Peperkorn “came out” as the author of the fantastic blog “I Trust When Dark My Road” this week. His blog is the inspiration for this blog. I’ve known Pastor Peperkorn for a while. He’s been great help to me as I learn to cope with my illness.

His book is the same title as his blog. You may download an electronic copy here. You may also order a hard copy there too.

Pastor Peperkorn was nice enough to let me read a pre-publication copy of his book some time back. It’s an amazing book. He bares his soul to show how depression affects pastors as persons. Frankly, it took guts for him to tell his story. There may be some pastors who have a similar story but keep it private for fear someone in their congregation or denomination will use the illness as a tool to ruin his livelihood. That is not my case, God be praised.

Pastors are people too. We suffer as others suffer. Sometimes we do our suffering very, very privately. Take for example a dear saint I buried a few years ago. We’ll call her Maxine (not her real name). Maxine was a shut-in who came to church now and then but the last year or so of her life was too sick to come. It was so much fun to visit her! We talked about our favorite food and our favorite beer. She loved pickled herring and Limburger cheese with Budweiser! Talk about a combination!

Maxine passed away after a long struggle with illness. It broke my heart to lose her. I made it through the funeral, the committal, and the burial. Not long after the post-funeral dinner, I broke down and cried. But my tears were never seen in public. The pastor must be a rock for his people. I’m glad I held back long enough to cry at home. I still think about Maxine from time to time. What a grand lady. I miss her. But I’ll see her again.

Pastors are people too. I can’t say it enough. We hurt when church members die. We ache when people reject the faith to our face. We feel helpless when we teach and teach and teach but no one seems to heed the teaching. We rejoice when great things happen to our people. We rejoice when people yearn for the Gifts of the Gospel. We bask in the joy of baptisms, confirmations, and weddings. It’s not just a job. It’s being a grafted in member of a family.

You might not grab all of that from Pastor Peperkorn’s book, but it’s in there. Joy, sadness, fear, anxiety, and more joy. That’s the ministry for you. That’s life for you. And lately life’s been good for me. I pray the same for you.