My heroes have always been pastors, well that’s not entirely true because I used to be a worship leader. If I’m being honest, I just thought pastors were weird and nerdy back in those days, in fact I really didn’t like pastors. In fact I seem to remember praying something like this; “God, I’ll do anything you want me to do in ministry, just don’t make me a pastor, those guys are weird!” Then it happened! God didn’t just call me to be a pastor at the age of 33; He literally placed me in that position at Alive Church. So much so, that I knew I would just have to be absolutely rebellious to do anything else at the time.
Then it began to happen. I started seeing pastors in a whole different light. I started to really get to know them and their passions and understand where they were coming from. Within a few years I found that God had given me a heart for Pastors. Over the last 17 years God has made me passionate for pastors and the title of this blog could not be truer if changed a little: My Heroes Are Pastors.
I know your hearts. You desire to feed, protect, guide and shepherd God’s people. Your heart not only beats to nourish and care for God’s people but to reach those who do not yet know him, and in the midst of all of that, you are getting beat up and battered not only by the enemy but often by those you are trying to love and nourish. I want to encourage you today; you are living in the greatest of callings. It is very pleasing to your loving heavenly Father.
I think of it this way, if someone were giving their life to help my wife love me more, better, have a better relationship with me; I would really love that person. That is exactly what you are doing as a pastor, helping the bride of Christ to love Him more, to learn to love Him. In the midst of it all you may be misunderstood and rejected, be encouraged, you (we) do it for our Father.
A verse that is so important for all of us as Pastors, Acts 20:28: “So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders.” We tend to focus on the second sentence of that verse Pastors, but if don’t overlook the first sentence. Guard yourselves and God’s people. It starts with you guarding yourselves, your hearts, your spirits, and your families. We cannot shepherd God’s people if we do not guard ourselves first. That means when the people we love and care for the most, serve and give our lives for turn on us, misunderstand us or hurt us. We turn to The Shepherd and let him touch, encourage and heal our hearts.
Pastor, you are my heroes. You are my favorite people. I celebrate all you do today to feed, protect, guide and shepherd God’s people. I celebrate all of your efforts to reach those who do not yet know Jesus. In case nobody tells you this today or this week, you are appreciated. Don’t give up, don’t give in, and don’t get discouraged. God, your heavenly Father, knows your heart and celebrates your work. He has trusted you with His bride!!!
P.S. If you are a pastor reading this and you feel discouraged or that it’s too late for you to continue I want to encourage you to get a copy of Wayne Cordeiros book Leading On Empty, in fact I recommend it for all of us as pastors.