“A rabbi is hired by a community to point out their insanity.”
~ Lawrence Kushner ~
I ran across this quote from famed Jewish rabbi Lawrence Kushner a few months ago…and I love it! It’s funny and provocative, but I also think it’s insightful, wise, and true—and not just about rabbis, but about pastors as well.
When you hired me as your pastor three and a half years ago, you hired me to do a lot of things. I’m part worship leader, event planner, teacher, and lecturer. I do my fair share of administrative work, graphic design, lawn mowing, and taking out the recycling.
But, as Kushner illuminates, for some reason you also hired me to speak into your lives. You hired me to know who you are and ask questions about your lives and spend time with your families and be present during significant events like baptisms, weddings, and funerals. You hired me not just to preach broad sermons about generic passages, but to specifically preach into your lives and offer relevant help, advice, and wisdom. And you even hired me to provide you with spiritual counseling.
So, as Kushner points out, you hired me to point out your insanity—the ways in which your lives (and mine) don’t perfectly align with Jesus—and help you (and me) get back in sync with the ways of God’s Kingdom.
Why would you do that?! Why would you hire someone who’s role is to poke and prod at your personal lives and invite you to grow and change?! You’re insane!
But I love that this is one function of church. I love that we get to be in one another’s lives in vulnerable, intimate ways. I love that we are encouraged to know each other and be known. I’m grateful I get to play this role in your lives and I’m even more grateful that you play the same role for me. Thank you for helping to point out my insanity. Thank you for helping me to grow and mature as a man, husband, father, and Christ-follower. And thank you for allowing me into your spheres of insanity.
This is an important role we play for one another—the insanity illuminators.
So, let’s commit to always allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and open with one another. Let’s commit to always holding each other accountable. Let’s commit to graciously calling each other out when we aren’t living the way we should. Let’s commit to always spurring one another on toward love and good deeds. And let’s commit to always helping one another live more and more into our God-given calling to live like Jesus.