Latino Redimido

“[A white theologian] claimed that we needed to reject the words [Christian and Evangelical] and the baggage that comes with those words. A Native American theologian responded that doing away with those words would prove to be convenient for the majority culture. Not only would the words be wiped away, but the responsibility for the negative history of those communities could also be wiped away. Sin would be be accounted for.” p.125

Soon-Chan Rah, Prophetic Lament

As a Latino who experienced poverty and fatherlessness but who is now educated and has some privilege, I’m struck by the feeling that I’m still a stranger at some tables. I fear that I’m still seen as the “token” minority in the circle. I fear that because I look different and might not sound as eloquent that I may not have a place at the table. I fear that my voice isn’t as important.

I refuse to be a victim of these fears and possible realities. But I also refuse to deny these possible realities.

I have been ashamed to Mexican-American for many years. I wonder why there aren’t more educated Latino pastors in my circles/settings. I wonder why I don’t have more latino pastor mentors. I wonder why I’m constantly make up the 1 or 2 latinos at the table, and still feeling like I’m just the token vato.

But I refuse to be a victim of these fears and realities. And I refuse to be bitter/resentful/angry towards those who might perpetuate the stereotypes. The Lord’s table and the Gospel of Grace makes room for us to sit at the table, share our personal and corporate stories, and ask God to continue redeeming our stories in His grand salvation work.

Life cycle of a pastor :: some resources

Glacier Rafting

Glacier Rafting

I’ve recently been struggling through questions of calling, effectiveness, and “next steps” (even though I feel fully affirmed by the employees I serve–and its leaders–as well as other pastoral leaders in my life).  I’m in the boat, paddling, but it seems like the waters ain’t “cute” anymore.  They’re getting faster and more complicated.

Based on the readings, it seems very natural and part of the life cycle of a pastor. I found the articles to be spot on with regards to my own questions, tensions, and desires.  If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s not to run from pain but to see what it might have to teach me.

For me, the articles are pointing to a reality that I’ve been wrestling with:

  • what are my strengths and weaknesses
  • what is my effectiveness and how do I measure it (being cautious of do quality ministry over quantity)
  • how do I sustain myself long term
  • who are the people in my boat that can help me navigate these waters (I have a few…you know who you are!)
  • as a marketplace minister, what unique challenges do I have

The following articles are proving to be helpful and I hope they are beneficial to other pastors who are going through the process as well.  This is only a preliminary reach of understanding the life cycle as a means to deepen the pastoral call and work.  May God grant us wisdom and strength as we seek to live faithfully and fruitfully in Him.