Who Pastors the Pastor?

This is a question that I've been asking myself long and hard over the past few months...

One of my responsibilities as stated on my job description is
"He shall pay close attention to his personal spiritual life, family, and service by maintaining a vibrant and maturing faith in Jesus Christ. Careful attention must be given to personal characteristics of integrity, vision, discernment, compassion, and humour."
Now, this is something that I would hold myself to even if it wasn't a part of the job :) That's just the kind of man that I want to be. My personal spiritual life and my growing love of God and of people is of the utmost importance to me. I want to grow in this every day of my life.

I knew right away when I first became a Christian that I needed to surround myself with more mature men. Guys who have walked with God a lot longer then I have. Guys who have been married longer then I've been alive. Guys who have raised their kids. Guys whose love for God and for people was very apparent. That's why I got involved right from our first day at a new church with the guys from the Men's Ministry. I wanted more of what these guys had. I wanted to learn from them.

I learned pretty quickly about one of the unfortunate realities of church... the reality that different age groups didn't really have all that much interaction with each other. The idea of mature seasoned Christians mentoring those younger in the faith looked great in books and articles but I could find very little of this actually happening. There were some... but it wasn't a part of ministry of the church... just a few individuals here and there. This was probably why I was SOOOO ticked off when our church in Montreal went through it's split a couple of years back... where those I considered the rock-solid mature believers left us newbies to fend for ourselves... that broke my heart. I asked God to make sure I NEVER ditch those younger generations because I wasn't happy with the way they did church.

So this idea of Christian mentoring just really seems incredibly hard to get going... and now that I'm a pastor I find it even more difficult to find that person who has taken an interest in being a mentor to me. I've been searching all around me (at different church events, websites, seminaries, etc) for that type of a relationship and I find the same theme repeating all over: Pastor, you're on your own to make sure you're doing well in your relationship with God.

Now, sure, there are some ministries out there who will provide a "mentor" to answer your questions about a particular ministry question. There are some "mentors" who will answer your emails about issues in your family. I've even met some groups of pastors who get together for mutual support and discuss ministry issues. But no where have I found the mature, experienced pastor who takes younger pastors under his wing and intentionally invests in them. And I find this sad... and not just sad for me but sad for the entire church!

I worry that in our church busyness we have forgotten the simple and intentional ministry of Jesus, and that's pouring ones life into a few others. Of mentoring them to continue the work that Jesus started. Even Paul continued this simple process of investing in Timothy, not only for his benefit, but for the benefit of the entire church!

I have lots of virtual mentors... meaning different authors and bloggers who have been a influence on my life and in my ministry. One of the greatest influences over the years has been Dr. Patrick Morley, from Man in the Mirror. His books and weekly internet Bible study have been a huge influence on my life for years. A newer one is Bruxy Cavey. His weekly messages at the Meeting House are a great influence and his book The End of Religion has got me pumped about my relationship with the real Jesus! But that just doesn't really measure up to the one on one, caring relationship which can be formed in true Christian mentoring.

I don't want to be one of those statistics of pastors who fail. I don't want to be one of those guys who start off strong and finish poorly. So I guess I'll keep pounding the pavement... and pray that God brings that Paul-like guy into my life here... so that I, in turn, can be a Paul to someone else!

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