“You know, you’re just our pastor.” I’ve heard that more than once from members of my congregation, trying to put me in my place. Always spoken with a twinkle in their eyes, of course.
Though really, it’s less about sending me a humbling message and more something they are telling themselves as a form of self-elevation. And rightly so.
When people tell me I’m just their pastor, they’re not saying I’m unimportant. I do matter. But this is taken for granted in Christianity, that a pastor matters to the spiritual experience of a community. A pastor needs to be cared for, of course.
But in my experience, people don’t need to be told that their pastor is a gift to them. People need to know that they are gifts to one another. People who are often overlooked as “gifts” need to be told and treated like they are gifts.