I will be looking at John Frye’s 2000 book Jesus the Pastor: Leading Others in the Character and Power of Christ for a while. John challenges pastors in this book to look to Jesus, not just to pastoral theories and strategies for building bigger and better churches. John’s writing style is poetic and potent, and I hope if you haven’t read this book that you’ll get a copy.
John, in India, was asked “who runs your church?” and John’s answer offended his fellow tourist. John said, “Jesus is in charge of the church. He is the head.” This story, a good one, starts off the book and asks each of us, pastor or not, an important question: Where do we get our model of pastoring?
Chp. 1 begins with a marvelous story from John’s life about his stepfather, Neal, who was a mechanic who taught John to love engines and cars and to learn how to fix them with these words: “John, watch me.” He tells of Neal resting a screwdriver on an engine, and then putting his ear to the screwdriver so he could diagnose the problem. Which he did! (Now that one’s out of my league, I’ll tell you.)
Then John goes through the stories of Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, and Jesus washing the feet of the disciples to give us a hint of what it means to “watch Jesus.” In this chp John tells how he has learned as a pastor to be a good listener, and to treat each person as an Eikon of God so that they are genuine persons in the conversation. He explains how he learned to treat a homosexual friend as a person. And he tells an incredible story about Tony, a former staff member whom John had to fire, and how John didn’t handle that situation as he could have, and how they reconciled. To make it clear, John washed Tony’s feet in Tony’s home as an act of reconciliation.
If you’re not interested in this book… something’s wrong.
John’s posted recently on the very topic of his book with a new story and picture.