Ah, grace is so refreshingly simple. It’s not about what I do, it’s about what He does for and through me. This is true of pastoring and this is true for every aspect of everybody’s life. If we get hung up on “I have to do my part” then we miss grace entirely and we operate in the flesh/our own abilities. Let Jesus carry EVERYTHING (Matthew 11.28-30) and our walking with Him as He leads will be our cooperating, our obedience, our ‘doing something’.
Consider the following quote from Eugene Peterson on pastoring:
“…my job is not to solve people’s problems or make them happy, but to help them see the grace operating in their lives. It’s hard to do, because our whole culture is going the other direction, saying that if you’re smart enough and get the right kind of help, you can solve all your problems. The truth is, there aren’t very many happy people in the Bible. But there are people who are experiencing joy, peace, and the meaning of Christ’s suffering in their lives.
The work of spirituality is to recognize where we are—the particular circumstances of our lives—to recognize grace and say, “Do you suppose God wants to be with me in a way that does not involve changing my spouse or getting rid of my spouse or my kids, but in changing me, and doing something in my life that maybe I could never experience without this pain and this suffering?”
Sometimes I think all I do as pastor is speak the word “God” in a situation in which it hasn’t been said before, where people haven’t recognized his presence. Joy is the capacity to hear the name and to recognize that God is here. There’s a kind of exhilaration because God is doing something and, even in a little way, it’s enough at the moment.”