“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. “Does it hurt?” asked the Velveteen Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse.
Often as a pastor it’s hard to be real. You think that you need to “be” a certain way to be pastoral. Let me plead with you to not be afraid to be real, even when it hurts. When my dad, a pastor, died at age 44 of cancer, his brother, and only sibling, also a pastor, never shed a tear as we watched him pass into eternity and as he preached his funeral service. That deeply hurt me. Eleven years later when my mom passed, my uncle’s tears flowed. I went to him immediately after the funeral service and thanked him for his tears and asked him why he hadn’t cried for my dad even though they were so close. “I thought I needed to be strong for you,” he shared. I explained, “I didn’t need someone who was strong, I needed someone who was hurting, just like me.”
Being humble and genuine enough to share the real you with your church members could actually be the best way to “be pastoral.” Will it hurt? Sometimes. Is it worth it? Yes!!