Story Time Tales
A Collection of Inspirational Stories

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All stories teach us something,
and promise us something,
whether they're true or invented,
legend or fact.
Stewart O'Nan

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All stories appearing on Story Time Tales are believed to be in the public domain unless attributed otherwise. Please let us know if this is not true of this particular story.


A few weeks ago, in a congregation made up mostly of twenty-somethings who had not been raised in church, as the service began, the pastor introduced himself and his calling by saying:

"My name is Tom. I'm a pastor here. It's my job to pray for you, whether you're a Christian or not, and to talk with you about Jesus, whether you're a Christian or not. That's what I do."

It's just that simple, and it's just that complicated. And it has always been this way. Around A.D. 400, famous North African bishop Augustine described a pastor's job: "Disturbers are to be rebuked, the low-spirited to be encouraged, the infirm to be supported, objectors confuted, the treacherous guarded against, the unskilled taught, the lazy aroused, the contentious restrained, the haughty repressed, litigants pacified, the poor relieved, the oppressed liberated, the good approved, the evil borne with, and all are to be loved."

How's that for a job description!

In fact, a vice president of human resources for Motorola once said, "Pastors have more transferable skills than they realize." Especially supervising volunteers. "If you can describe your experience working with volunteers, you'd be surprised how quickly that gets the attention of [hiring] managers."

So, the next time someone asks you what a pastor does, just give them the ABC's of the pastor's task:

Ambassador, advocate, administrator, baptizer, building usage consultant, confidante, confronter, community builder, discussion leader, encourager, emotional baggage handler, funeral companion, grace giver, grounds inspector, historian, interpreter, justice seeker, knowledge dispenser, latent gift discoverer, mediator, missionary, nurturer, organizer, opportunity spotter, public speaker, problem solver, questioner, quarterback, reviewer, Robert's Ruler, spokesperson, spiritual director, teacher, trainer, unifier, utility player, volunteer coordinator, vision caster, wedding ceremony presider, X-traordinary ingenuity with limited resources (like figuring out a way to use the letter X), youth advocate, yule celebrator, zeal stoker, zoo keeper (okay, so it just seems that way).

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Story Number 45
of 83 online
Story Time Tales