Brief Thoughts On “The Pastor” by Eugene Peterson

UnknownI finished “The Pastor” by Eugene Peterson. After reading less last year than I have since High School I was committed to stepping up my game this year. Little did I know, the first book I grabbed was incredibly profound and impacted me greatly.

It is the first full book I have ever read by Eugene Peterson, but I have purchased 4 more as read it and already owned another previously. I am very much looking forward to making him one of my few authors that I commit to reading as much of his work as I can.

Moving on to the point of this post…

3 Brief Thoughts From “The Pastor:” 

1) It was simply great hearing the heart of a man that gratefully enjoyed the calling that God gave him. I love that God has called me to pastoral ministry. I can’t imagine doing something else. This is probably why I found Eugene Peterson’s memoir so encouraging. You can’t get away from all the bad statistics about burnout, horror stories with churches, etc. It is encouraging to read about such a long, happy pastorate.

2) The Pastor was a breath of fresh air in the American Climate of pastoral ministry. Like, Peterson, I fear that the true nature and identity of the pastorate has taken a serious hit in America and Peterson does a great job dealing with this. What I appreciate most though isn’t his moments of critique, it is when he describes what he sees biblically about the pastorate. His descriptions of pastoral ministry grabbed my heart and resonated with me profoundly.

3) Eugene Peterson did a better job at explaining and depicting the relationship to every day normal life and pastoral calling than anything else I have read. He understands pastoral ministry as much more than praying, preaching, and “other duties.” He sees pastoral identity as affecting every area of life and showed how to faithfully function in that reality in the day to day tasks of life. It reminded me of Matthew Redmonds, “The God of the Mundane.”

I am sure I will write a lot more about this book and Eugene Peterson in the future… This will have to be true as I also work through his other pastoral writings. But, as I just finished the book those were the three things that most stuck out to me.

For those of you who have also read it, what most resonated with you? 

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