We’ve used this analogy for years at Midtown in pastor and group leader training, but time and time again when it comes up I am amazed at how true it is. It goes like this:
Being a pastor is like seeing someone poised on the edge of a roof, threatening to jump off.
So, you climb up there with them, and you say “Hey, please don’t jump off of the roof. Please. You’re going to break your leg.”
And they say, “Nuh-uh.”
And you say, “Seriously, you are going to get hurt if you jump. It might look fun, but God didn’t design you to jump off a roof. Look, I’ve got Bible verses that explain how God’s good design for life is for people to not jump off of a roof and get hurt. He is good and has your good in mind–you can trust Him. Remember last time?”
And they teeter on the edge, looking back and forth between you and the ground below them.
And then, a lot of the time…
And they break their leg.
So you exhale, and climb down from the roof.
You walk over to them, bite your lip, and say as nicely as you can muster, with as little “I told you so” possible: “Looks like you’re leg is broken, huh?”
And they say yes. And they cry. Because it does hurt.
And so you bend down and help them up.
You tell them God loves them still, that grace covers a multitude of sin, and that Jesus thankfully fixes broken legs.
I’m sure there’s a better description of what it’s like to be a pastor, but I don’t know it.
And I’m really grateful as well that Jesus is ultimately the senior pastor of his church, who has done this for all of us.
Because even us pastors are not above jumping off a roof now and then.