In my *ahmena* years I have been truly blessed. I have had a total of 8 true pastors in my life. 4 of these pastors are current and the other 4 were from my last church (99% of these were simultaneous, not different pastors leaving and new ones coming). These include not only head pastors, but also assistant pastors, youth pastors and children's pastors. Each of these pastors has touched my life in an immeasurable way.
Lately, I've been feeling like people forget to encourage their pastors. I am ashamed to say that recently I too have fallen prey to life's busy routine and forgotten to thank these unsung influences. I, more than the average Joe, should be more sensitive to this, because I grew up as a pastor's kid. I witnessed first hand just how hard the ministry can be.
You who have never really had an insider's view of the ministry, allow me to give you a teensy little glimpse. The ministry is not always cake. It is MUCH more than preaching 3 hours a week (1 hour Sunday morning, 1 hour Sunday night and 1 hour Wednesday night). It is dealing with people. Constantly.
The ministry is, in my opinion, the most taxing public relation job anyone could possibly ever have. You're not just in a job from 9 to 5, you're in that job 24/7. People call your house at all hours because they are in need. Examples: A phone call in the middle of the night, because a church member has lost a loved one. A phone call because someone just had to go to the E.R. A couple in need of counseling, because their marriage has hit a rough patch. Doing funerals of people you've never met, because they are family members of one of your church members. Putting off your vacation, because a church member is close to death. A phone call during your vacation, because a church member has had a major crisis. I could go on, but trust me you don't want me to, we'd be here for a looooonng time.
And yet despite all these things, good pastors persevere. Not only do they persevere, they do it in love. They comfort, guide and love their church members, not because it is their job, no it's far more than that. Pastors do it, because despite all else church members are their FAMILY. Not blood family most of the time, but family of the heart.
Pastors truly care for their church members, not because God has instilled a love in their heart for others. It is their calling. This is not a job for the weak, it is a job that only those who have been called by God can do. If a pastor is in the ministry for ANY OTHER REASON they will fail. You may be thinking, now, Ms. T, that seems a bit harsh. It may seem harsh, but it's true. Consider this 1,700 Pastors left the ministry EVERY MONTH last year. Quick math for ya, that is 20,400 in a year.
In light of this fact, take a moment and reflect on how blessed you are if you're a member of a church who's pastor has been there longer than 1 year. The pastors that have touched my life have ALL been in the ministry for a long time. Which proves their total commitment.
To all my pastors, and yes, I'm including the former pastors in my life, because you have all cared for me, counseled me, and taught me during some period of my life, THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart I thank you. You are dedicated, and special. You are a credit to the Kingdom of God. I'm sorry I haven't told you more frequently, but thank you. You will never know just how much you've done for me in my life.
With all the love in my heart,
* If you're having a problem commenting there is a way to fix it. If you have the "keep me signed in" box for your personal email checked it will not allow you to comment. Simply uncheck the box and then you should be allowed to comment.