Well, my Minute for March 18th generated a ton of comments, some pro, others con. Rather than move on to another topic, let me offer a few follow-up comments.
My words yesterday were ill-advised. Electronic media lets us put something up as soon as it comes into our minds…but hindsight can lead us to say, “Whoops, should have slept on that, should have made my point in a better way.” So I apologize for going public without sufficient care for how I said what I said.
Second, I have no idea who the congregation is or who the pastor I mentioned is. The person who wrote to me didn’t give any names, so I thought of it as a generic case. Of course, people who read my Minute didn’t know that I didn’t know. If I had known the church or pastor, I should have kept it private. Since I thought I was being generic, I should have made that clear.
Third, I do believe we have a serious problem with rushing our ideas out into public without giving time to reflection and revision. I did that. This rush to go public is all over our culture and in our churches, made possible by today’s amazing technology, but it doesn’t contribute to unity and putting the best construction on everything. It’s a technology Satan can use to the harm of souls and the church.
Fourth, I firmly believe that the hard work of ministry grows out of God’s gifts of Word and Sacrament. His gifts impel pastors into all kinds of expressions of God’s care and love during the week. It’s not just leading worship, which is central, but it includes visitation, meetings, administration, spiritual counseling, works of mercy, and responding to all the other opportunities that God puts before us. Ministry is hard work. It demands all that we have and, here’s a strange blessing, at the end of a tired day or when our energy is sapped by controversy, we are reminded that our sufficiency is not of ourselves.
So there’s today’s Minute, honest, a bit humbled, but still wanting the best in our service to our Savior.