The myth of the perfect minister

While I’m in a “reflect on Sunday’s sermon” kind of mood…

There is much talk in pragmatic circles about getting the “best” ministers possible. We all want the next Driscoll/Piper/Chandler/Jensen rocking up to preach on a Sunday – or being an assistant minister doing what we tell them to do.

In a semi-tangental point in last night’s sermon our minister made a reference to difference between Paul’s approach to team ministry and Barnabas’ approach. Paul didn’t want John Mark on his team after the guy had a bad first innings, while Barnabas was happy to give the loser a second chance (which later paid off).

I suspect those of us heading down the pathway of full time ministry see this story as a chance to identify with either Paul or Barnabas – the perfectionist v the whatever it is that Barnabas is. I wonder if most of us are more likely to start off being John Marks – people who stuff up a bit and cause a schism amongst the older generation…

Were any of these guys perfect? I’d say no. Paul was too picky, Barnabas was probably not picky enough, and John Mark? Well who wants a rookie John Mark type character on their team?

One of the great things about the list I posted in that last post is that every guy on it (except Jesus) has at least one pretty major character flaw, and in most cases it’s kept for posterity’s sake in the best selling book of all time.

That’s a more preachy tone than I’m normally comfortable with (unless I’m telling atheists how to be better people)… so I’ll leave it there. For now.