As Doug and J.R. wrap up pastor appreciation month, Doug invites J.R to share stories of his relationship with Eugene Peterson. J.R. shares personal stories, letters and meaningful moments he had with Eugene over the years. He is missed and we are excited to share this interview with you all. If you have stories of Eugene or ways he has shaped you, drop us a line us so we can share them with the MMP community.
One of our favorite quotes (also happens to be at the top of Doug’s job description)
“The pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches. They are preoccupied with shopkeeper’s concerns–how to keep the customers happy, how to lure customers away from competitors down the street, how to package the goods so that the customers will lay out more money. Some of them are very good shopkeepers. They attract a lot of customers, pull in great sums of money, develop splendid reputations. Yet it is still shop-keeping; religious shop-keeping, to be sure, but shop-keeping all the same. The marketing strategies of the fast-food franchise occupy the waking minds of these entrepreneurs; while asleep they dream of the kind of success that will get the attention of journalists.
The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches. There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them. In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given a designated responsibility in the community. The pastor’s responsibility is to keep the community attentive to God. It is this responsibility that is being abandoned in spades.” – Eugene Peterson “Working the Angles”
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