Pastors should not major on minors. How foolish to pull rank with regard to inconsequential items…Some mountains are not worth climbing. Some battles are not worth winning. Save your ammunition and energy for the crucial battles. Choose the war you want to fight.
–Leslie B. Flynn, “How To Survive in the Ministry,” p.86
Nothing is more needed among preachers today than that we should have the courage to shake ourselves free from the thousand and one trivialities in which we are asked to waste our time and strength, and resolutely return to the apostolic ideal which made necessary the office of the diaconate. [We must resolve that] “we will continue steadfastly in prayer, and in the ministry of the Word.
–G. Campbell Morgan
A pastor told me that when he was new at his present church, he received a phone call from a woman in his congregation. “Pastor, I have bought some file cabinets for our association. Would you go get them today and bring them to the associational office?” He said, “No, I won’t be able to do that.” The woman replied, “What do you mean ‘no’?” (That brings to mind the old adage, “What part of ‘no’ do you not understand?”)
The pastor said, “Ma’am, today is my off day. My wife and I are out of town, visiting with friends. My car is not big enough to carry those file cabinets. You bought them for the director of missions; let him come get them. And besides, the associational office is closed today.”
The woman replied, “Huh! I didn’t know we had hired us a socialite!”
I smiled at the amazing presumption of the woman, and said, “It was good to let her know from the first that you would not be her errand boy. Did she learn from this?” He said, “No, she kept on making demands. Finally, she moved her membership to another church.”
I said, “Let’s pray for her pastor.”
–Joe McKeever. Read the entire article, “5 Facts About Pastors Most Church Members Are Unclear On,” at http://bit.ly/1HSaaXL
Please all and you please none.
Pastor, your primary calling is to the people God has you with now, not who you think you deserve… or who you want to have…. or who you wish you had. Your ministry is to who God has given you. As we labor faithfully in our current positions, we are to do so with an assured understanding that God has us where he wants us and will move us when and where he wants us, in his timing, not ours.
–Ronnie Parrott. Read the complete article at http://ftc.co/resource-library/blog-entries/gods-pleasing-placement
You may have never had to deal with depression, but this is an article you simply MUST read. It is the story of Phil Lineberger, who preached the funeral of a pastor friend who had committed suicide due to depression, then a few years later took his own life. You almost get the sense that he was trying to reach out, even then.
Most of this post is the transcription of that funeral sermon. It gives much information about depression, and you may find it helpful in your own ministry. It is very likely that at some point you will have to preach a funeral sermon for someone who has committed suicide due to depression.
Here is an excerpt:
“The Bible says we see through a glass darkly. We don’t know how dark the darkness is in someone who is depressed. Through the darkened glass they can’t see the light of life or the love of others. They can only feel the pressure of the darkness of despair in their own mind. That darkness is visible to them and often invisible to us.
“Tragedy always leaves unanswered questions. Always. None of us are exempt from the troubles of life. All of us are left with unanswered questions when these troubles come. Even people, those of faith, who have the promises of God that all will be OK in the world to come cannot help experience anguish in this one.”
Every pastor I know has thought about quitting at least once. Some more than once. Some consider this every Monday. Thom Rainer has addressed this issue in an article entitled, “Nine Thoughts for Pastors Who Are Considering Quitting.”
Here are the thoughts:
Many storms pass quickly
It’s probably not you.
The vast majority of the congregation supports you
Remember that the majority of the church members love and support you.
Remember your call.
Longer-term pastors see better days
Hurting church members often hurt others.
It’s not better in other churches.
The changing culture frustrates many church members
God is with you.
That’s the essence of what Rainer had to say, but you seriously need to read the entire article. You can find it at http://thomrainer.com/2015/06/10/nine-thoughts-for-pastors-who-are-considering-quitting
The minister must always remember that the dignity of his office adheres not in his person but in his office itself. He is not at all important, but his office is extremely important. Therefore he should take his work most seriously without taking himself seriously. He should preach the Word in season and out of season in forgetfulness of self. He should ever have an eye single to the glory of Christ, whom he preaches, and count himself out. It should be his constant aim that Christ, whom he represents, may increase while he himself decreases. Remembering that minister means nothing but servant, he should humbly, yet passionately, serve the Lord Christ and His church.
— R.B. Kuiper, “The Glorious Body of Christ” (Banner of Truth, 1966), 140-42.
The heart of a pastor is a thing of wonder.
Something inside me wants to say preachers either have hearts of a pastor or they do not. And if they do not, they should reject every invitation from search committees to become pastors because it’s a perfect set-up for disappointment on his part and disaster on theirs. The preacher who can deliver a fine sermon but who is unavailable and ineffective during the week one-on-one should ask the Lord to show him other ways to use his gifts and calling.
The pastorate is not for him.
Read the rest of this article by Joe McKeever at http://joemckeever.com/wp/heart-pastor/