Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Willimon: Preaching Gives Meaning to All Other Pastoral Responsibilities, Including Conflict Management

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Continuing my gleaning of good stuff from “Preaching About Conflict in the Local Church” by William Willimon:

Because the pastor who responds to conflict is also the preacher, the pastor’s response to crisis will always be in dialogue with the gospel.  The  pastor is not called simply to do good things for the church, but to do Christian things for the church. The preaching task helps us to keep necessary theological focus and content within our management of conflict.  Preaching keeps reminding us that “success” in the church dealing with crisis is not measured by criteria such as what works, what is permissible, the greatest good for the greatest number, he who has the most power gets most attention, or another secular criteria.  Our response to conflict is, like our preaching, part of the church’s attempt to listen to the story of God and to embody that story in our lives.

A preacher is always a pastor, one called to edify the body of Christ in this time and place.  Our contention that the sermon is an appropriate place for the pastor to deal with congregational conflict arises out of our confidence that preaching and worship leadership are the central pastoral tasks and give meaning and direction to all other pastoral responsibilities (p. 43-44)

3 comments:

daniel said...

what's the difference between doing the "good" thing and doing the "Christian" thing?

Cal Habig said...

I believe that it is the difference between doing what people want versus what God wants. We can do "good" things for people that are not ultimately what God wants for them or what is best for them. But we are called to do "Christian" things, including saying things that sometimes hurt.

Important difference.

daniel said...

hmm...is this goodness a perceived goodness rather than an actual good?

I have a hard time finding an example of an action that is an actual good that is distinct and set apart from The Way...

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