On the one hand, do they realize that they're not telling the whole truth? They'll tell you that pastoral ministry is all about preaching the word, offering the comfort of the Gospel . . . but they won't tell you about the people who want results, not comfort. They won't tell you what to do when people don't think that being a simple preacher is enough. Here we are, giving this new crop of green-horn pastors the official "Go out and change the world for Jesus!" speech, and we're not telling them they've only been equipped for less than half of their job. Someone's got to tell these new guys that people can be hard to deal with at times, that there are times when there aren't any win-win solutions, that--for crying out lout--that they are gonna get hurt. Hurt bad, some of 'em. "Pastoral ministry is all about preaching the Word and offering the comfort of the Gospel," indeed.
But yet, on the other hand . . .
What they don't tell you is that the Gospel works wonders even on yourself. That it is a live, active thing, and it spreads through ever fiber of a person's being. The hurting are healed, the ones who cry out have their tears dabbed away . . . hearts are made new again . . . lives are restored . . . things are set right in a deep, deep manner that can't always been seen, but it can always be felt. All this from the Gospel, and all this despite the best (worst?) efforts of those sinners known as the pastor and the people. "Pastoral ministry is all about preaching the Word and offering the comfort of the Gospel" . . . Indeed!!