How should a pastor be
What does a pastor actually do?
The Reformation gave rise to the Evangelical Church. What do you think Christianity would look like today if the Reformation had never happened?
Pastor Rohlfing: Christianity would probably have developed less colorfully and diversely. 500 years ago, Martin Luther started something that was already in the air. He referred to the Bible and stood up for freedom and our own thinking. Actually, he just wanted to change grievances in the (Catholic) Church, e.g. the indulgence trade with which one could buy oneself free from sins. But that then led to the division of the Western Church into Protestant and Catholic. In the meantime the different Christian churches have come closer together and we speak of "unity in diversity". The Reformation has therefore led to a great diversity and also changed the Catholic Church quite a bit.
What does being a Christian mean to you?
Pastor Rohlfing: I find it vital to trust that there is more than I can understand and overlook myself. That there is a God who means well with me, who knows the meaning, even if I may sometimes doubt it. And that I can't fall any deeper than in his hand.
And: Even if I'm not perfect or have mistakes, I'm okay. God wants me and loves me for who I am. Martin Luther rediscovered this knowledge in the Bible.
What is your everyday life as a pastor like?
Pastor Rohlfing: Every day is different. Sometimes I travel a lot and visit people in the hospital or meet volunteers who prepare camps or children's services, visit old and lonely people, or make music. Sometimes I spend a lot of time at the computer and write letters and texts for the community newspaper. Sometimes, as an emergency chaplain, I have to go to an accident. Fortunately, that doesn't happen that often.
And then there are many appointments: baptismal visits, meetings with newlyweds or mourners who have lost someone who we have to bury. And I regularly go to the closing circles in kindergarten and tell biblical stories.
A lot of time is also spent on all kinds of management tasks, such as renovating buildings or leading church council meetings. When I work creatively and, for example, prepare church services, I usually do it late in the evening, when I have peace, no more craftsmen or homeless people ring the doorbell and the phone is silent.
What do you like most about your job, what do you not like?
Pastor Rohlfing: I like the variety and the great freedom. I can divide up the time myself and decide for myself where I want to focus. Recently we have z. B. made a children's church day to Martin Luther and lived for a day like in the Middle Ages and then slept in the church at night. I sometimes find a lot of meetings and administrative work to be exhausting.
How do you prepare for the service? Do current political events flow into the sermon?
Pastor Rohlfing: I think a Christian has to read the newspaper as well as the Bible. In the worship service and in the sermon it is also about translating the biblical texts and stories into our situation. It is always exciting to see how the experiences that people had with God in the past and handed down in the Bible relate to me today.
Thank you for the interview!
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