I am so much this way--the aggressive personality--that for a long time I questioned whether I could function as a pastor, whether I would not overwhelm people with my personality. Enthusiasm was not just my middle name: it was my first, middle, and last names. Eventually the Holy Spirit began to tame my spirit, and out of these changes I discerned that pastoral ministry was actually much easier than I thought. Basically at the beginning of a ministry, the leader should humble himself and not try to do too much. Really, even later a good pastor is pretty much a good listener, a patient, deliberate questioner; and at the beginning of a church-planting enterprise you will be astonished how well things will go if you are just a gentle, kind learner.--The Heart of a Servant Leader: Letters from Jack Miller (P&R, 2004), 86; emphasis original
My own conviction is that the flesh is still so strong in the Christian leader that each of us needs a healthy fear of our own capacity for ruining the work of God with our unconscious pride.
16 September 2014
A Gentle, Kind Learner
Jack Miller, 1996, a few months before his death, in a letter to a man preparing to plant a church--
Posted by Dane Ortlund at Tuesday, September 16, 2014