“Pastors should never be friends with members of their own congregation.” More than one of my professors in both my undergrad theology classes and my mDiv graduate classes offered this advice. As a young person I didn’t understand where they were coming from. I’ve always been a take me as I am kind of person. I have never liked being fake or inauthentic.
How much training did you receive on emotional health issues while in school? If your formal schooling was like mine, you received very little. I recently heard it said that schools teach the what but rarely the why or the how. Lots of time is spent teaching us theology. Making sure we can understand the deep things of God. This is important of course but it is only the tip of the iceberg of what we need to know to effectively pastor.
What do you think of when you think of being vulnerable? Chance are, it isn’t anything positive. In the world’s eyes, being vulnerable is equated with being weak, inferior, undesirable. Brad Hambrick starts his book, Vulnerability, by admitting that vulnerability can be seen as something painful or dangerous. We’ve learned to hide ourselves from others.