The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

The pastor, the pulpit and the potty

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Brian Croft had a phobia about cleaning toilets. I don’t know if I could say that I have a phobia about it, but I would readily acknowledge that it isn’t a pastime I would choose to pursue. When my family’s time comes round on the cleaning rota, I have no instinct to step forward on this particular duty, and there are times when, if the job does fall to me, there is an air of grimness about the whole affair.

When Brian first arrived at his church, he realised – painfully and then peacefully – that there was not such a great gap between the pulpit and the potty as he had imagined, much to his sanctification:

I no longer clean toilets as a pastoral weekly duty. I have a dear, faithful servant in our church who now takes on that task and many others like it to allow me to address other pastoral needs. But after doing so for 3 years, I am grateful I did and what I learned. I now manage my heart in such a way that I would be willing at any time to do it again if there was a need to do so. The lessons about pastoral ministry I learned from being on my hands and knees scrubbing toilets in the church restrooms although unexpected, have been immeasurable in value.

While you can read the whole thing here, it is a good reminder that only those who are ready to do the lowliest jobs qualify themselves for the highest. It may be the closest we get to kneeling at the feet of a disciple with a basin and a towel. It is a reminder to me that, next time the cleaning rota throws up my name, it may be time to step forward.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 15 March 2011 at 16:13

Posted in Pastoral theology

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