A PASTOR'S LIFE
By GV Potter
The following post was written by a member of our fellowship.
It has been said that private citizens don’t really understand what policemen do. The only one who really understands what a policeman does is another policeman. In the same way, sheep don’t really understand what it’s like to be a shepherd—only another shepherd does!
Being a pastor isn’t just a job…it’s a calling. His heart answered a unique call from God’s Holy Spirit to “feed My sheep,” (John 21:17). When God calls a person to be a pastor, He places in him a shepherd’s nature to “love and care for his flock.” He is a pastor all the time, in thoughts, words and deeds. It’s what he lives for…it’s his purpose on earth. It’s not easy for him to go home at the end of a day and leave his job behind the way most people can. The pastor is on duty 24/7. Most of his activities are in some way related to functions of the church, because most social calls or relationships are church related. His home is the only place he can find solitude long enough from interruptions to pray for the church, to study or to simply enjoy some quiet time.
The pastor wears many different hats and is a juggler of a variety of situations that can happen at any time, day or night. He faces daily tasks that are like an emotional roller-coaster. Some of his daily tasks might include counseling someone with a terminal illness, listening to trivial complaints, sharing the joy of the birth of a child with the parents, bearing the pain of children over the death of a mother or father, meeting a couple to discuss their marriage plans, or correcting someone for his or her sinful lifestyle. He will go from one contrasting situation to another. With each person he counsels or prays with, he will experience a momentary bond with their circumstances or burdens, and then within a short time period, find a way to restore his composure and get back to what he was previously engaged in.
The Church is where God ordained His people to meet together to worship Him and encourage one another, as expressed in Psalm 95:6-7, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” However, many of the ones the pastor loves will leave the church for some reason. Some will move away, others may backslide, become offended, or simply reject his ministry. He will experience the loss of beloved members of his flock through death. Many are the wounds of a shepherd that his flock will never really understand or even hear about.
The pastor and his flock are targets for Satan’s attacks. He is seeking to destroy the church by attacking the pastor. Part of Satan’s strategy is to attack the pastor by attacking his flock and scattering the sheep. Clearly, we must pray for our pastor as nothing releases the power of a pastor’s ministry like the power of his flock. Paul recognized that his effectiveness in ministry was strengthened by the people’s prayers, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Eph. 6:18a, 19).
The author of Hebrews 13:17-18 tells us the importance of a Godly leader. That leader (the pastor) will be held accountable for how he lives up to his responsibility to teach us how to live our lives. Therefore, we should pray for him. “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us: for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably.”
Still, there will be numerous temptations for the pastor to just give up. He must be a person of strong faith and prayer to overcome the many challenges he will face, and to be a constant encouragement to us as he reflects Christ in everything he does or says. The average person will never realize the price his pastor is willing pay to be his shepherd, and what he’s willing to endure to minister to our soul and spirit. Jesus, the Great Shepherd, was a man acquainted with grief and sorrow (Isa. 53:3). His earthly shepherds can identify with those characteristics. It is without question that we must continually pray for the church and our pastor, to encourage him, show him love, and to avoid adding to his list of daily challenges. Amen.
CALVARY CHAPEL THE WAY23705 Via Del Rio | Yorba Linda, CA 92887