A leader from yesteryear says many pastors are either like work horses, race horses or merry-go-round horses…which are you?
“Work horses are those who are trying to do everything. They are consumed, torn apart and devoured by endless chores. They are administrators, social workers, youth leaders, board members, newspaper writers, scientists, astronomers etc., etc. But the main thing they cannot do: to operate upon the sick souls, to cut, dress, heal, and save: they cannot bear to see blood!
The race horses are running around, always and everywhere, in their parish and outside the parish. They are everywhere and nowhere. As speakers they are in demand for festivals and celebrations. But they do not stand on the courtyard as the twelve oxen with the molten sea of grace on their backs (see 1 Kings 7:23-25), ready to wash the unclean souls …
The merry-go-around horses are the amusement directors, who are so good at entertaining their congregation. They organize trips, participate in shows, do athletics, go hiking, arrange movie- and story-gatherings, and a whole lot more. But they do not go forward one inch with the congregation. In spite of all the activi- ties, they remain as the merry-go-around on the same spot.
Repent and turn around, you pastors, and be shepherds, care- takers of souls, father confessors, healer of hearts … Pray to God that He would give His poor church shepherds who are not so eager to reach high but rather be content to be simple and foolish oxen from the country, who know nothing but their Lord and their office, and who desire only one thing; to serve the Lord in His courtyard with the sea of forgiveness on their backs, until they have broken off their horns and their backs ache, until they have served their time, and then yet are ready to be slaughtered and sacrificed for their Lord.
My dear fellow pastor, have no other ambition than having these words engraved on your tombstone: Here rests an old simple and foolish ox from the country. Isaiah 1:3 refers to such a servant of the Lord, ‘The ox knows his master.”
Gustav Quade: Vom Pastor zum Beichtvater! Eine Heilige Kirche, 1935