Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Willimon words

"The pastor is [often] reduced to the level of the soother of anxieties brought on by the dilemmas of affluence, rather than the caller of persons to salvation. My colleague Stanley Hauerwas has accused the contemporary pastor of being little more than 'a quivering mass of availability [emphasis mine].' Practicing what I call 'promiscuous ministry' - ministry with no internal, critical judgment about what care is worth giving - we become victims of a culture of insatiable need. We live in a capitalist, consumptive culture where there is no purpose to our society other than 'meeting our needs'. The culture gives us the maximum amount of room and encouragement to 'meet our needs' without appearing to pass judgment on which needs are worth meeting… In this vast supermarket of desire, we pastors must do more than simply 'meet people’s needs.' The church is also about giving people the critical means of assessing which needs give our lives meaning, about giving us needs we would not have had if we had not met Jesus."
- from Pastor: The Theology and Practice of
Ordained Ministry (2002)
by William Willimon

Thanks to Indiana John and Oklahoma Matt.


Anonymous said...

Indiana John ... cool. I think I'll try to get my kids to call me that.

Jason Oliver Evans said...

As we say in the African American church tradition...Preach, Bishop!

Unknown said...

I have been saying this for 15 years! Amen! Amen! and Amen!

Jeff Kahl said...

Keith -

Great quote. I think that's a good indictment of the "megachurch" mentality that views church attendees as consumers and that are totally staff-driven.


Brett Probert said...

I read the article but I didn't get anything out of it...

Anonymous said...

One of the many great quotes from
what I believe is the best book
on ministry available today. I
think it "works" right alongside
Oden's "Pastoral Theology."