Will Willimon notes the main danger in ministry is not ‘burn out’ but rather ‘black out’; it is not that we run out of energy but rather we loose consciousness of why we are here and what we are called to be. What ministers do is a function of who ministers are.
St Basil (Bishop of Caesarea in the 370’s CE) writes in his letters of ministers (bishops) who guide the church like the pilot of a ship steering the church into sound doctrine. Their role is to guide and care for the church but as those who have a duty to cast the care of the church on the Lord. The minister is to ‘raise a house to the glory of God’ because she is called into a particular relationship with God. It is as we are penetrated by truth about God that we know ourselves, know God and give him glory.
Reading Basil I’m struck by his seemingly encyclopaedic knowledge of Scripture and of the Psalms in particular. Here was someone who was committed to knowing God and who recognised he had been selected (his phrase) by God as his chosen instrument to steward the church.
I want to be more like Basil.