Thursday, October 25, 2012

An Open Letter to Pastors

Looking back I was a horrible church “member”. I held my previous pastors to a crazy lofty standard that is now embarrassing. I was such a Pharisee! I’m convinced that had I been alive when Jesus walked he wouldn’t have lived up to my standard either. I would have yelled from the crowd, “crucify him” without a hint of a second thought. And maybe even worse, I imposed my set of self-determined standards on their families as well.

It wasn’t until I was called to the ministry and started talking to people like my cousin who has his own church, friends whose families are in the ministry and finally experiencing it for myself that I realized what a high toll we and our families must pay. I say “must pay” because what we endure is exactly the treatment Jesus promised to the apostles as he attempted to prepare them prior to his leaving (John 15:18-25). Make no mistake my brothers and sisters, we will pay an earthly price each time we answer God’s call.

The majority of people will never know or care to know about our middle of the night phone calls, bombardment of opinionated emails and texts, impromptu counseling sessions, and the suggestion boxes that our spouses have become.

They will never know the people we cry for in the privacy of our bedrooms.

They will never know that we are not just on call Sundays, but we somehow became always on call.

They will never know the pressure we put on ourselves when we ponder the possible repercussions of the advice we give to many who see us as the last resort.

Brothers and sisters, we are in an elite group and by elite I don’t mean well-to-do, but rather a selected minority. We were called by God for this specific work!

God has not chosen us to be just a specialist in our areas of administration, missions, youth, kids, worship or whatever it is in your given church structure. No, he chose us to be pastors.

He has chosen us to make decision that impact the spiritual welfare of those who call our local church home and often those we reach to outside our doors.

He has chosen us to bear burdens for those that no one else will.

He has chosen us to make unpopular choices because sometimes it’s what’s best for the church body.

He has chosen us to change the perception of the word “Christian” in a country where the word is becoming less and less popular because of the people who have been hurt by those claiming to be one.

He has chosen us to breathe life into those who are just here to mark the Sunday attendance box and on the same day to those who are wondering if they are even worthy of life.

He has chosen us to lead people to be the light of the world when they are being told there is no light in this world.

He has chosen us because He sees something deep within each of us!

He has chosen us because He believes we can accomplish His mission with Him and through Him!

He has chosen us to be pastors!!

1 Peter 2:9-10 (MSG) But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

Brothers and sisters I appreciate the sacrifice each and every one of you and your families make! And, "do not grow weary of doing good.”