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Jonathan Dodson: How To Persevere Through the Heartache of Pastoring

“There is a frankness in this letter [of 2 Timothy] that isn’t absent in other places, but really piles up.”

“This is the great Apostle Paul being personal, being real, naming his sufferings. There’s what you might call ghosting in there. There’s a personal attack. So 2 Timothy, I think, really opens up the scope of what pastoring can look like as you deal with your own pain and your own heartache. And a lot of us are too busy to do that, or we’re afraid if we peel back the layers what we might find. Some pastors that I’m talking to are afraid they might lose their jobs if they go this deep with their leadership teams.”

“When people abandon us, even our trusted friends, people we baptized, people we led to Christ. There is one friend who will not abandon you, who stands by you, and not just kind of as a witness to your ministry, but kneels down to lift you up, strengthens you. And that that has been my experience, as I have lamented my sorrows, Christ has knelt down beside me and has wept with me.”

“Forgiveness doesn’t obligate intimacy, but the gospel obligates reconciliation.”

“Every pastoral case needs to be examined with wisdom and with Scripture and with grace…But there are categories of in 2 Timothy of reproof, gentle correction.”

“We’ve got to use the truth to clarify where we swerve and to speak clearly and biblically to issues, but to do so with grace and to do so with kindness, to pair gentleness and correction and not just opt for the one that’s more comfortable as a leader.”

“Time doesn’t heal. Christ heals. But time is necessary for Christ to heal. So we often want reconciliation immediately and we want forgiveness now. And I think pastors have to be patient and remember just how patient God has been with us and how gracious he’s been with us.”

“Trust it to the Lord. It’s his church. He’ll reconcile in his time. His gospel is more than adequate to bring bitter enemies back to being at least brothers and sisters, if not friends and partners in the gospel.”

“In divisive times, we often have meetings with people who are critical and discouraging. If you’re not scheduling meetings with people who are uncritical and encouraging, your perception of the church is going to change and you’ll begin to see the entire church through the lens of bitterness, critique and discouragement.”

“It’s so important to schedule life-giving lunches and coffees with church members who are uncritical and encouraging. They are part of our ministry. And it’s okay to avail yourself of their encouragement.”

“I do think the Lord wants to close the gap between pastors and churches.”

Mentioned in the Show

1 Corinthians 13
Isaiah 53
2 Timothy

The Unwavering Pastor: Leading the Church with Grace in Divisive Times” by Jonathan Dodson

Check out Jonathan’s website
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Our Pulpits Are Full of Empty Preachers” by Kyle Rohane in Christianity Today

Jonathan Dodson in Outreach Magazine

5 Myths About Discipleship” by Jonathan Dodson
Getting to Know the Holy Spirit” by Jonathan Dodson
Here in Spirit” by Jonathan Dodson