Pastoring as Abboting


Father Peter Matthews of St. Patrick’s in Lexington, KY has some great thoughts on “Pastoring as Abboting” (click to read). I commented on the post with this:

“Ai’ Father Pete. Good words, say ye. I couldn’t agree more. i’ve been having similar thoughts of late as well. i increasingly see my role at VC as abbot/spiritual director…. but even more precisely – soul/spiritual friend. in fact i see our Pastoral Council less and less as a planning body and more as a shepherding/mentoring/solidarity/spritual directing entity.

the problem i am hitting up against is others not seeing me/us as such. the expectations (that alan has talked about) of being a certain kind of leader/leadership. i don’t really have any answers besides conversation. getting things (expectations) out on the table and telling stories of a different way. i’m not sure this is working, but its all i know to do.

i’d love to hear others thoughts on this!”

I’d like to extend that invitation here as well. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about leadership at VC and what that looks like for me, our Pastoral Council, Leadership Community, and VC as a whole. I think we’re bumping up against lots of old school expectations about what a pastor/leader should be doing AND what a “church member” should expect from a pastor. I don’t think we should lower the bar of expectation for leaders/pastors – rather I think we need a whole different set of expectations. I don’t know what those are completely (we must discern as a community), but I think Pete’s stuff about Soul/Spiritual Friend is a large part of it. I also think we need to raise the bar as to what it means to be a Follower of Christ, a Christian, and (in our context) part of VC.

Two phrases that have been troubling me (I submit them to the blogosphere for some measure of release!):

“If its meant to be (for VC) its up to the PC” – this troubles me greatly and while it is not truly the reality of VC, I “hear” that in the undertones of what is said at times. again, this troubles me greatly.

“I want to be led” – someone whom I respect deeply said this to me this week in the context of their desires/concerns about VC. I honestly don’t know what to do with that. I really don’t.

Again – I would appreciate anybody’s thoughts on such topics.


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