Pastor As Carer (Curer) of Souls
PASTORS, I might argue, are wounded healers: in the business of healing persons inside their midst; though they’re, themselves, somewhat plus some ways very wounded naturally.
The Latin word cura means “care,” however it can be shown to indicate “cure.” According to Eugene Peterson in The Contemplative Pastor, the concern of souls is “Scripture-directed and prayer-shaped” — a determination to work at the prime of the person; “to concentrate on the essential.”
Concentrating on the essential is spending so much time on getting to the core; to strip away allegiances towards the superficial; to compel focus and a focus toward what is most shimmeringly truthful.
This is the pastor’s job; to get beyond the task-nature of the relational task, to escape the transactional ‘tick list’ mentality, and sharpen on the person — their wounded soul to worry — to teach and instil self-care.
The pastor, themselves, is usually to be an exemplar of that that they or she is called to complete in others — to facilitate such self-care (self-cure) through integrity of personal cooperation (their flesh in subjugation with the Spirit) and Spiritual obedience. This isn’t perfection, but it is maintenance; a degree of competence to augment health. So now, in a continual sense, there’s freedom to care for (and cure) souls.
Passing the baton is something every pastor really wants to do. There are those that came before them; those that healed their very wounds. The pastor stands on not-so-rickety shoulders. And also the pastor wants others to provide God with passion, and even to answer their own calling: to pastor. But pastoring isn’t just about who came behind and who goes ahead. It’s centrally about healing; about speaking the gospel of God’s gracious power into people’s lives.
They sense their opportunity, and it’s not limited to the church; it’s a Kingdom role. Which means that the whole of life is a series of opportunities for healing to be done, and not one moment is without that beautiful and devoted purpose — we can see why pastoring is a ‘called’ life; few may wish to surrender 24/7.