Nuggets of Encouragement for Lutheran Pastors

From the Desk of Our Pastor:

I wrote the following “nuggets” originally to provide personal comfort and inspiration for Lutheran pastors who were either new to their calling or suffering from discouragement.

The content is based on my responses to their emails requesting counsel or on conversations I had had with them. Many of these nuggets address situations seen from the perspective of a faithful pastor serving in a hostile environment. If that was not exactly the case in every instance, that was how these men often felt when they wrote or spoke with me. I took what every pastor told me at face value, never questioning their stories or judging them.  That, after all, is the way I attempt to respond to parishioners here at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne.

I try always to see good motives in people. Rather than jumping to conclusions and pitting member against member, or pastor against congregation, I simply choose to believe those addressing me. God knows the truth. It is not my job to catch men in lies but to unburden them from the guilt for which Christ died on the cross. I seek to comfort those who come to me for counsel with the Good News that God is on their side, has forgiven their sins, and will not abandon them in this vale of tears. He has a purpose for them. He has not forgotten them. The crosses they bear are not borne to pay for sin, nor are they borne in vain.

Though these nuggets are concerned primarily with the particular duties and burdens of the Office of the Holy Ministry, I hope there is something buried here that is helpful to all Christians. Just be forewarned that the context of my counsel is a tearful one in which doubting men struggle amid life’s harsh realities to be faithful to God and Church in the Office they hold. I would write quite differently were I addressing a Bible class or the Ladies’ Aid or seeking to comfort those suffering under tyrannical pastors who, with vain political aspirations or other agendas, preach false doctrine.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. David H. Petersen

The Nuggets: