by Rev. Blossom Matthews, Asst. Director of Congregational Vitality
Ministry has always called for a profound level of love and leadership, but this has been cranked up a notch post-GC2019. Upon being asked to share my experience of pastoral leadership during this challenging time, I was a bit hesitant to convey my thoughts given the fact that each context is different. However, with the knowledge that we are all seeking to faithfully use our gifts within our place of ministry, I will share my guiding principles below.
Love like a Shepherd
– My husband and I co-pastor the wonderful people of Hobbs FUMC. Our congregation, like most, boasts a membership in which we don’t all look alike, vote alike, or think alike. I give thanks for this! As we prayerfully prepared for and responded to General Conference, my goal was simply to love each member. This was most often expressed through a few words or a hug. Sometimes it involved more in-depth conversations. It always involved the reminder that our door is open. I wanted our members to know that they are loved, valued and heard. Like most clergy, I have a strong pastoral sense that
these are my people.
It’s my job, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to care for them. Much like the love and care of a shepherd, it’s a strong love which can face any adversity with the determination to bring the flock safely through.