Of all the ideas expressed in last week’s discussion on the church, the most troubling for me were some that talked about pastors. I am one, so I suppose it’s easy for me to get defensive, but the problem wasn’t that the comments were unfair. The problem for me was that many of them rang very true. Some people said or implied that pastors are on a power trip, that they claim to be God’s spokespeople, that they are insecure, and so on. I know many fine pastors, but it’s true – we’re all a bundle of insecurities and mixed motives. The smart ones among us know it, but there are enough of us who don’t that it can be scary. I wanted to shout last week, “But they mean well!” but the reality is that everyone means well. It didn’t seem like enough of an excuse. This isn’t to say every pastor out there is bad. I know many who aren’t. But of all the problems in the church – self-absorption, an over-reliance on programs, a drivenness to be “successful”, bad use of money – I’m most concerned by this issue. The other issues can be resolved, but they won’t be without the wrong type of pastor trying to lead in wrong and unhealthy ways. Talk to me. Am I being too hard on pastors? Why were pastors seen as more of a problem than part of the solution in last week’s discussion? What advice would you give a pastor on being the right type of servant in today’s church? Is there a role for pastors, for leaders who “watch over your souls” and who “know they are accountable to God” (Hebrews 13:17)? Or do we need a new understanding of church leadership, for lack of a better term?