Being the Minor Poet
“Pastors are not the only ones working on the Kingdom of God. But they don’t help by abandoning their specific call to be poets and taking on the work of the realists and the engineers. Someone has to teach people how to dream.” -M. Craig Barnes
This is a quote form the book The Pastor as Minor Poet by M. Craig Barnes and it put a new focus and spin on what my job is as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the main points of the book is that the Bible is full of major poets…people who drastically dedicated their lives to the ideals and themes that they held to. People like Jesus, Paul, Peter, Moses, and other major figures of Scripture were major poets who gave us an example of extreme, radical faith. There are very few major poets in the world and that is by design, according to Barnes. It takes a different personality, a different soul, to be this and they live in order to create change in us. In the modern day we can look to people like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Shane Claiborne would be examples of major poets who change society with their lives and actions. Not everyone can be a major poet, but everyone can learn and grow from their lives. Someone, however, has to take the words and lives of major poets and make them transcend into the life and culture of the every day person…and that’s what the quote is about. We, as God’s people, have more potential than we most of the time realize and we can do good work in the world. We may not drastically alter the course of history as some that have come before us, but that doesn’t mean that through surrender to the Lord, obedience to His Word, and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us that we can’t make an impact on the world. And that’s what this is about…
Sometimes we want to dream, and we want to dream big. I believe all people want to have a feeling that we can be a part of something that is bigger than just ourselves in our little corner of the universe. We want to be a part of something that matters but often times cannot seem to get past the schedules, routines, and hectic pace that engulfs our everyday life. That’s where a pastor comes in. Our job is to see to it that the truth, inspiration, and power of God’s word does not go forgotten and that believers can see the examples of people in Scripture as something they can aspire to. The great life of Jesus, the Acts of the Apostles, the words, wisdom, and impact of Paul all were given by one God and He can, as well as wants to, give those same things to us…all we need to do is dream a little and be willing to trust Him. Had Jesus looked at his life as a carpenter and only ever saw it as such He never would have been able to be our Savior. Therefore, if we only ever take our lives and our potential at face value we limit what we can make happen. I want to try be an aid to the process. So, I hope that the words of the blog will encourage you, equip you, inspire you, and most of all help you look at the world and life not just as what it is, but also what it could be…and the potential is limitless because our lives are minor poetry testifying to a major God!