ipromiseyouwontknow asked a question:
Hi Pastor Park, Just curious, as a Pastor how do you get fed?
Hey there dear friend, while I can’t say I’ve got it all locked down, I can tell you the things I actively try my best on.
1) I read tons of books.
In the last three years, I’ve probably read about 150 Christian books and about a dozen fiction books. This is not a replacement for Bible-reading or getting mentored, but it’s definitely helped me round out my thinking. Doug Wilson talks about copiousness, in which our imaginations are struck by the constant perusal of literature. It’s tough, but I’m thankful that God even gave me a high love of reading.
2) I listen to tons of podcasts.
I’m a sermon junkie. I probably listen to about eight to ten hours of sermons per week in my car or before I sleep. Again, this is no replacement for Bible-reading, and there are plenty of dangers in over-listening to podcasts. But 99% of the time, I’m listening to sermons for me and not to grab ideas.
3) I visit churches.
I regularly attend a church service outside my home church during the week. I don’t do this every week, but as a ministry worker, I need a church apart from my church to have space and safety.
4) I have mentors and friends who are smarter than me.
I do my best to surround myself with people who are smarter than me and are not afraid to say the truth. I absolutely cannot stand to be around yes-men all the time — I need to be challenged, stretched, provoked, and ultimately encouraged into a better version of me than before. No one likes doing this and it’s very painful, but without it, I remain stagnant and unfed. God has put voices in our lives that both rebuke and restore, and we’d be wise to hear from both.
5) Ministry is the crucible of growth for every Christian servant.
Perhaps nothing has grown me more than simply doing ministry. Pastors have the particular task of digging into Scripture every week whether they want to or not, and while this is never a good way to be fed by itself, it does chisel me much more than I would’ve done on my own. No one should think that the reason to get into ministry is to grow, but it definitely will grow you. Ministry also “forces” me into proximity with other people, and by loving on others that I might not normally befriend, it’s helped me to love in ways I couldn’t have imagined. This is both the heaven and heartache of ministry. It’s tough, it’s gritty, it’s grueling, but it’s absolutely awesome.