It’s a tricky role, isn’t it? Guiding a group of disparate, messed up people on the way of Jesus? Prophet, teacher, counselor, referee and sometimes janitor. Pastors hear the worst of the worst, which might be juicy and interesting the first time or two, but not the 400th! They are expected to encourage and help believers navigate the present world while preparing for the future one. It’s no small task and I’m sure I’m not alone in my sense of empathy and respect.
Islam poses a unique challenge for pastors. “How do I help my people think like God does about Islam? How do I help them love Muslims as Jesus does? What does it mean to be both Christian and American relative to these issues? How do I boldly, yet carefully, walk the prickly path between truth and political correctness, love and wisdom? Remembering that Jesus walked it well and it led him right to the cross.”
Assuming most pastors aren’t pursuing advanced degrees in Islamic Theology, what might actually help them be the thought leaders in this arena we need them to be?
I’d also be happy to hear your ideas. What would help your pastor lead in regard to Islam?