I love pastors. I am a pastor and some of my dearest friends and role models are pastors. October is Pastor Appreciation Month so I thought I would give a shout out to all the pastors who labor so lovingly and sacrificially for the Lord in service to His people.
Brothers, what you do matters! It doesn't matter if you pastor tens or thousands, your ministry matters. You might not be prominent but you are significant. You might never make the cover of Christianity Today but the details of your ministry are written in the Lord's Book of Remembrance (Malachi 3:16). You might never be invited to speak at the denominational assembly or cool Christian conference where everyone is waiting with bated breath to hear your amazing nuggets of wisdom, but you have the inestimable privilege of speaking as God's mouthpiece every Sunday. You might never make the list of 100 fastest growing or largest churches or be given the key to your city, but when the Chief Shepherd appears He will give you a crown that will never fade (1 Peter 5:4).
Pastors, thank you for loving and serving God's people, the sheep of His pasture. Jesus taught that people need shepherds. Shepherds love and care for the sheep. Shepherds give their lives for the sheep. Shepherds protect their sheep. So shepherds, thank you for comforting those who mourn and binding up the brokenhearted. Thank you for seeking the wayward, counseling the confused and strengthening the timid. Thank you for the sleepless nights, evenings away from family and mind-numbing fatigue you deal with as a part of your ministry. Thank you for enduring the constant criticism, the pain of betrayal, the bewilderment of watching someone walk away from the faith and the heartbreak of walking with others through terminal disease. Your love and care embodies the very love and concern of the Chief Shepherd.
Pastors thank you for being faithful. Thank you for standing up every week to instruct God's people in the ways of His kingdom. Thank you for the hours of preparation in study and prayer. Thank you for being constant in season and out of season. Thank you for preaching God's Word even when it is unpopular. Thank you for instructing in right doctrine to a generation that has itching ears and doesn't want to hear the truth. Thank you for being a prophetic voice to call people back from the rebellion of the spirit of this age.
As a pastor it's easy to get caught up in the cultural success trap which equates our success and significance with attendance, buildings and cash. This model of success is reinforced in almost every conference, denominational gathering and leadership book that is published. Yet when we read the New Testament we find the antithesis of this model of success we've been brainwashed to believe. In the Pastoral Epistles not one word is ever mentioned about church size, or number of campuses, or bulging budgets. Instead there is a persistent call to faithfulness and teaching right doctrine. How could we have gotten it so wrong? Pastors, please remember that your call is to be faithful not successful. God determines the outcomes. God causes growth. We are called to faithfully sow the Word. When we get to heaven we might just be surprised at who was really successful here on the earth. We might find out it was not the megachurch or “celebrity” pastor we are enamored with, but the pastor of the small church in Anytown, USA who faithfully loved, served, preached and persevered.
If you belong to a church, let your pastor know how much you love and appreciate their ministry. Write them a note sharing with them the difference their ministry has made in your life. Do something nice for them. It’s not too late! Believe me they will appreciate it.
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