Tuesday, November 21, 2006


by Keith Giles

What does it mean to be a Pastor?

Well, honestly, it's about helping people to follow Jesus. The truth is, it's a lot harder than you think.

Most of us, when we think of the word "Pastor" get a mental image of a guy in a suit who stands up on the big stage each Sunday and gives a long, power-pointed speech right after the offering plate is passed. That is not what pastoring is about at all.

In fact, guess how many times the word "Pastor" appears in the Bible....go ahead, guess.

Once. That's it.

(Bonus points if you can tell me what book, chapter and verse)

Yet, we've made the office of "Pastor" the single most important position within the Body of Christ. Yes, it is a very important, and difficult office to work at effectively. However, our mental pictures are way off base. We picture a CEO in a power tie, but the Scriptures suggest a simple man who knows how to wash feet.

The word "Minister" implies one who serves, and yet in our society we've made the position into a professional office where all authority and power, prestige and wisdom flow down from on high.

Jesus modelled something so much greater for us when he put on the robes of a slave and knelt down to wash the feet of his disciples. He served them. The scriptures say that, He expressed the "fullness of his love" to them in this simple act of service and humility.

What's more, when he was finished he sat down and asked them, "Do you know what I have done for you?" He wanted them to understand the importance of serving one another, not "Lording it over" their subjects as the Pharisees were known to do.

If we're honest, most of what passes for Pastoral leadership today looks a whole lot more like the "Lording it over" process modelled by the Pharisees than it does like the "putting on the robe of a servant" like Jesus.

Honestly, the office of Pastor is one gifted to a person by the Holy Spirit. He is the One who calls people and then gives them the spiritual gift of pastor. This means that you could go to seminary and get a degree, but still not have the spiritual gift of "pastor".

It also means you could be a twelve year old girl and have a greater spiritual gift to pastor than the guy who is standing behind the pulpit in the suit and tie with the seminary degree on the wall.

My experience as a pastor has involved a lot of private meetings with people where I have to perform the un-rewarding task of helping people to repent for things, or to help them understand pain, or to speak truth to them even though I know that they will probably hate me for it when I am done.

This is what it means to be a pastor. It means to serve, to minister to others, to shepherd people, and to love them so much that you're willing to do what's best for them, even if it kills you.

So...who wants to be a pastor?


Monday, November 13, 2006


My life is stuck in the mud these days.

I feel like I can't manage to accomplish anything with my writing because of my new life as a temporary employee.

At work I cannot access the internet (no, not even on a break or during my lunch) so my creative muse has to sit quietly from 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

When I get home I'm too tired to write, and I need to sit down and eat dinner with my family. So, after the boys are in bed all I feel like doing is sitting in front of the television and letting my brain relax.

I fondly remember those days when I was posting articles and columns here on my blog, publishing weekly e-newsletters (which I still do, and hopefully will get this week's edition out tomorrow), and writing columns at SeedStories and Ginkworld.net every other week. Those were the days....

Now it's all I can do to post here every other week, and then it's just the typical, boring, "Here's what I did today, blah, blah" blog entry (which I apologize for even now).

It's not that I don't have a long list (two whole pages worth) of really great article and column ideas. It's not that I don't have motivation to write (I have a weekly newsletter. I have a new monthly column over at Ginkworld.net. I know people are reading this blog...or at least they were a few days ago..before my brain got stuck in the creative mud of temporary assignment hell.)

Hopefully this week I'll get hired somewhere full-time again and I can take back my lunch-time blogging habit.

Plus, I could use a new full-time job to pay those bills too.

Yeah...there's that.


Monday, November 06, 2006


Yes, this Thursday, November the 9th, I will turn 40 years old. That's simply unreal.

Wendy threw a surprise party for me on Saturday. We had a house full of dear friends, and I am again reminded about how blessed I really am.

For old times sake, here's a little birthday poem I wrote last year. It's work a re-post I think (with a slight edit).


Yes, forty years ago this very week the fabric of space and time pulled back to reveal this fragile and yet strangely troubled soul.

It was a day of wonder and tears.

Cigarettes were burned. Laughter echoed down the hallway. A mother's heart slid into gear.

The angel's sighed, and one of them farted, but no one knew which one it was so they pretended not to hear.

It was a day of love so great it hurt to breathe.

Glad to be here, friend.

Hope to be here a bit longer before I join the flatulent angels.