Confessions of a Baptist Pastor

Posted: December 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

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“If you can be happy doing anything else, go do that thing.” Those words pierce the soul, but they ring true louder than any other words I have ever heard when it comes to pastoral ministry. To give you a little context to what this actually means, it means that if you can go to work everyday and be happy doing whatever it is that you would be doing, then go do that thing for a living, and not pastoral ministry.

The truth is being a pastor isn’t easy. Contrary to popular belief, pastors work more than just one or two days a week. Pastors “work” more than people actually know. We don’t clock in to our jobs and at the end of the day clock out and go home. Sure, we rarely have to do physical work, but the work we do spiritually and emotionally is physically draining. We can’t turn it off. We are always “On the clock.” Our minds never shut off, we pray, we worry, we care long after the final amen has been said on Sunday mornings. We worry about the marriage that is failing, we pray for the one that is losing a loved one, we think about the people in our congregation who we care for. Not to mention the hours spent in sermon prep for Sunday morning and Wednesday evening services. It never stops.

Sadly, because pastors carry such a heavy burden, often times their own home life is in shambles. The pastors wife is frustrated because her husband is always with someone else, helping them with their problems. The pastors kids wonder when their dad is going to be home. When will they watch a movie together, or throw the ball outside? The phone rings, and dad is gone again. Someone needs him. The home life of a pastor is neglected because people need their pastor.

I haven’t even mentioned the people that leave the Church. Some leave the right way, others are gone without a trace. The pastor takes it personally, even when it was nothing he did to cause them to leave. Maybe it was something he did, either way it hurts because he cares for the people in the Church and the people that left the Church. There are no easy days for pastors. There are no one day work weeks. It never stops.

You may be thinking that this all sounds bad. Let me assure you there are many highs and lows in pastoral ministry, but I want to tell you, in light of all the ups and downs, there is joy. There is joy in Christ! Pastors need to realize that the Churches in which God has entrusted them to lead isn’t theirs! The Church belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ and this should help us rest in Him with joyful hearts.

Christ reigns supreme! Colossians 1:15-20 says, “15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[f] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

He is the head of the Church! Whatever happens, we rest in the peace of knowing that the Church belongs to Jesus. The pastor must only stay true to the text, preach the Gospel, exalt Christ, care for others and stay faithful to Christ. When we stay faithful to Him, He is faithful to us, and pastors can let the chips fall where they may, because they all fall under the providential hand of God.

Pastoral ministry is hard, but I must confess, it sure is joyful.

Soli Deo Gloria

Pastor Steven

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