When Interruptions Help You Become a More Complete Pastor

A common frustration in ministry is when demands on our time and energy surprise us. The result is that we can’t focus on what we planned to work on because what came in unplanned is urgent.

Photo by bluegum at stock.xchng

What I’ve discovered about these surprises is that these interruptions are often not interruptions in the truest sense. A real interruption sticks an irrelevant foot in the door of our attention. But many of the interruptions pastors face are relevant their role.

In other words, often times our pastoral work is interrupted by other pastoral work.

Which leads me to another thing I’ve discovered. It’s the pastoral work that corresponds to an area of our weakness that most often feels like an interruption.

Let me give you a few examples from the prophet, priest, king model of a pastor.

If you are a strong priest/king, but a weak prophet, then teaching prep will feel like an interruption to your work of sharing Christ with the local barista and updating your church website.

If you are a strong prophet/priest, but a weak king, then staff meetings and administrative tasks will feel like interruptions to your work of discipleship and sermon prep.

If you are a strong prophet/king, but a weak priest (guilty as charged), then visitation will feel like an interruption to your work of vision casting and theological reading..

But the thing is, all of this is pastoral work.

So be thankful when these interruptions pop up, even though you’d prefer to do something else. They push you toward becoming complete pastor: a prophet and a priest and a king.