Listening Under the Hood

Article by: Bridgehaven Team

Counselors Reflect on Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp
A Series to Care for the Care Takers of God’s People

 “No one is more influential in your life than you are, because no one talks to you more than you do.” P. 33.

When I was in college my parents bought me a car to have at school.  After my mom told me dad had bought a car for me I was shocked and thrilled.  I couldn’t wait to see what he had bought.  It was right after mom told me about the car that I looked out the window and saw my dad drive up in a 1964 Plymouth Valiant.  I can’t tell you how disappointed I was.  I had been thinking more along the lines of a Camaro, Trans Am (keep in mind that this was in the 70’s), or something like that.  But, I hid my disappointment and actually drove that car throughout college.  My friends identified me with it (and some were sad when I sold it four years later).  I actually began to like the Valient and its “one wheel drive” transmission.  But I don’t think I ever truly appreciated it.  That’s why I handled each “new sound” the car made in the same way.  Typically in order to keep your car in top condition you want to listen to unique sounds coming from it. If you don’t then you may miss something important and end up on the side of the road with big problems, and no way home.  However, my standard protocol with new sounds on the Valient was to turn my eight-track tape player up louder (usually with the John Denver tape in it).  “There!” I thought to myself, “no more problems.”  I did that until a mechanic looked at me like I was nuts after I told him what I did.  I wised up when I wrote him a big check for the repair bill.

This is equally important in our lives as Christians, and especially as people who serve in ministry vocationally.  Sometimes we get some caution flags in our lives, which we desperately need to pay attention to or something may go wrong.   It may be a growing sense of entitlement, increased occurrence of hurt feelings, or a crazy schedule that destroys any sense of healthy margins. Recognizing these signs and giving heed to them may save us significant pain in the future, and, indeed, may save our ministry and our families from implosion.

As a pastor or Christian worker, are you finding yourself becoming more and more isolated from your family and friends because of the demands of your job?  Do you find yourself explaining away things that people may say or do which bothers you?  Has it become easy to shift the blame, and do you find yourself often feeling hurt and misunderstood?  Furthermore, have you begun to anesthetize yourself with television, more work, or with substance abuse?  It isn’t easy to see our own flaws and cracks in the armor, but we must be willing to open ourselves up to the scrutiny of others that we trust in order to maintain a heart of humility and servant leadership.  In fact, we each must consider that God never intended us to live life outside of community.  Isolation can kill our hearts and destroy our families and ministry.  Consider these questions:

Do you have someone who you trust in your life that you can be completely honest with?

Would you describe your times with the Lord as life giving and intimate?

Have you begun to see issues or problems (in your ministry, marriage or relationships) as the fault of someone else?

Are you uncomfortable when someone says something suggests a better way to do something?

Answering these questions honestly may be the first step for you to prevent the cracks that may occur in your ministry and life.  Please invite someone into your life that you can talk about the struggles that you may be encountering.  If you hear unusually sounds coming from under the hood, please pull over and explore them before you end up stranded in the middle of no where.

Join us again as we explore Paul David Tripp’s important book “Dangerous Calling.”



535826: Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry By Paul David Tripp / Crossway Books & Bibles