Why Jesus Couldn’t Be Your Pastor:
In most American mainline churches today there’s a general framework in which you are supposed to work and a certain profile you are supposed to have if you want to be a pastor. There are lots of spoken and unspoken expectations for pastors. These have led me to wonder whether or not Jesus would have met the necessary criteria to be a pastor in many of our churches. Let’s take a look.
I hate to say it, but most likely if Jesus showed up to work at your church he probably wouldn’t be allowed to be a pastor. He would on the other hand be given the keys to the youth ministry. In our church world where we’ve decided that it makes a lot of sense to put young, high energy relatively uneducated singles with limited life experience in charge of our youth, Jesus fits the youth ministry mold perfectly! He was only 30, didn’t have much if any theological education, and was a little eccentric. I mean come on; he went out and lived in the wilderness for 40 days and nights. Does that sound like a senior pastor activity or a youth pastor adventure dream!
Jesus would have been the ideal youth pastor today. According to all the pictures I’ve seen, he had a sweet six-pack, long hair and funky sandals. So that means he must have worked out and was probably a cool hipster and would have been rocking some Toms. I’m not sure what to do about his attire, but maybe it could have passed for retro or vintage.
Jesus was always taking the disciples on trips. Bam! Welcome to youth ministry. I hate to say it, but so much of our youth ministry is geared towards trips. Jesus was ahead of his time. Nowadays he would have had a sweet church bus and he would have been cruising all over the place with the kids. He would have gotten in trouble though when he sent the disciples out two by two without any supplies or some sort of parental supervision.
Jesus was a little unusual. He told strange stories (parables), ransacked the temple, disappeared without telling anyone where he was going. Classic youth pastor move. He kind of made things up as he went along and didn’t live and die by the bulletin. Jesus tried new things. His primary job as a leader was discipleship and not management. He was always changing his plans. Jesus has “Youth Pastor” stamped all over him.
It’s interesting to think about, is it not? Look at Jesus and then look at Pastors in the church today and there seems to be a big disconnect. I know that Jesus lived and ministered in a different time and culture than our contemporary American culture. I know what I’m saying is probably highly controversial, but just think about it. If we are called to be like Christ, then shouldn’t our lives look a little bit more like his?