I love being a pastor.
You need to hear that up front. I love being a pastor. Not because I chose it, but because God chose me. I'll have to share that story with you sometime, starting while I was in grade 9. Rather than walk through the past right now I'd rather walk together today and into the future with you.
So, here's the first truth again: I love being a pastor.
And here's the other truth: Being a pastor is often hard. That's the other side of the coin, the 'dark side' which most people don't see. Many sitting in church have glamourous, starry-eyed, super-spiritualized views of what it's like to 'be in ministry.' Sometimes those things are true. But not most of the time. Those are just icing on the cake. But we don't live on icing. Or cake. We live with the meat and veggies of daily like just like the rest of humanity.
I was thinking about this verse the other day:
Look at it again. It's in your best interest to encourage your pastor, to walk in cooperative relationship with them. The KJV actually ends the verse "for that is unprofitable for you."
Then I tripped across a link to this blog by Philip Wagner called The Secret Life of a Pastor. Click that title to read his blog. It's good, providing a realistic insight into a pastor's life.
Even when a pastor's life is good (like mine right now), its still full of challenges. So, even while our consumerist society presses us into its mold to consider our experience in the Church from a "what do I get out of this" mentality, realize this spiritual truth: Its to your advantage to encourage, cooperate with, submit to and obey those who "are keeping watch over your souls." You will profit, benefit, and have advantage as you do.
And that is my goal: To see you profit, benefit and be advantaged in your growth in Christ!
How do you apply this today?
1. Reflect: How am I being a blessing or a burden to my pastor(s)? Do I need to change something the Holy Spirit puts his finger on in my life?
2. Faith: Act (yes, 'faith' is a combination of belief and action; it's not faith without both; see James 2). Wagner's blog has three great ways you can act in faith on this passage and prompting.
3. Share: Encourage others to encourage their pastors today, too. Share this blog with others, or on your social media accounts, too. The statistics on pastoral burn out, depression and departure from the ministry are staggering. And they aren't getting any better either. Encourage your friends to encourage their pastors today, too.
What do you think? I invite your comments below.