There are many bishops, with many different gifts. I’ve always thought that the greatest gift a bishop can have is to be a true pastor to the pastors under his charge. Here is a remarkable example of that virtue in the person of my bishop in the Arkansas Conference, Bishop Gary Mueller:
The Apostle Peter teaches the presbyters of the church that they are to “shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you.” He also says that the church’s leaders are not to do this for personal gain or through an appetite for power. Rather, they are to be “examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3).
In this season of Advent when we have so much for which to be thankful, I am thankful for a bishop with a pastor’s heart—who has a deep and abiding love for his pastors which flows from his deep and abiding love for Jesus Christ.