Augustine and the Toils and Perils of the Pastorate
The new book The Trials of Theology has a wonderful list of authors – from Augustine to Don Carson – who have written on the dangerous work of theological study. I’m a little ways into it, and so far I have found it to be rich food for the young “pastor-types” like me. The first chapter is by Augustine entitled “Time Out to Pray, Read, and Weep.” Below is a quote from the chapter that expresses the toils and perils of being a faithful pastor:
Nothing is more easier, pleasanter and more likely to win people’s respect than the office of bishop or priest or deacon, if it is performed negligently and with a view to securing their approval; but in God’s sight there is nothing more sorrowful, miserable and deserving of condemnation. Again, there is nothing in this present life, and especially now, more difficult, toilsome and perilous than these offices if they are carried out in the way our Lord commands; but, at the same time, nothing is more blessed in God’s sight.
Pastor, pray for strength from the Lord to labor faithfully in the sight of God.