We can be a pastor by looking at individuals, not crowds. We can also remember we don’t need to worry about saying the right words. The third way to be a pastor is to value Silence. Merely showing up when crisis strikes qualifies us. Letting people know we care by being there.
After all, silence is also a gift. John Adams esteemed George Washington’s silence as one of his greatest gifts. It highlighted what words he did speak.
More than a few compulsive talkers speak because silence makes them uncomfortable with themselves. Only by speaking do they recover any self-esteem. We will always more often regret hasty words than repent of silence.
Different from every other task, which demands specific skills and education, being a Christian pastor doesn’t demand training or memorizing ten rules. It demands only an experience with Jesus we can share with another. A willingness to express the mercy to others Jesus offers us. To do for them what he’s done for us. That’s why a hug, a handshake, a heartfelt, “I’m sorry, my sympathy to you” is pastoral and Christ-like.
One of our members works in a medical facility. She saw a young woman leave the doctor’s office in tears. She immediately left her desk and escorted the lady to her car. She instinctively hugged the woman and kissed her on the cheek.
I texted her, thanking her for being a Christian Pastor to that woman. Our member didn’t consider it unusual since she’s always been sensitive to people in need. We can create our awareness of other peoples’ needs by remembering how sensitive Jesus is to ours. And, as he said in another context, we then should go and do likewise. –Fini-