I found this devotion by my Pastor Randy Huddleston very meaningful and wanted to share it with you:
He must increase, but I must decrease.
John 3:30 (NASB)
–John the Baptist
There are jobs that require a person to show up, get it done, and move on, but that isn’t how it works for a pastor.
God matters. God’s people matter. There is more going on than this temporal world. The Apostle Paul understood the importance of these things and gave instructions to the elders (pastors, overseers) of the church in Ephesus regarding the role.
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. Acts 20:28 (NLT)
Pastors are to be careful to guard themselves against the flesh, the world, and the devil. All are interested in doing harm and not promoting the good God has purposed. They fail. I fail. But we turn to our redeemer and are restored to the work God has given. The pastor must draw near to God. There must be a clarity of his own brokenness so that he can reach out to the broken. The idea of flawlessness among God’s servants is a myth. Having failed or been misled a pastor can learn to be a better guard and protector of God’s people if he keeps His eye on God. He must humble himself, confess his sins, and follow the Lord. John puts it this way.
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. 1 John 1:8-10 (NLT)
The key for the pastor is to stay close to God and to bring spiritually nourishing food to God’s people. Kids may want to live on Happy Meals and cotton candy, but there are some things more nourishing which their parents must provide. Sometimes God’s people can lean toward spiritual Happy Meals and cotton candy, but there are more spiritually nourishing meals God would desire for the. The pastor is to discern the real needs and under the leadership and power of the Spirit provide the proper nutrition.
This is done for God’s flock—the church. So, very important to the Lord. Purchased by the blood of Christ.
Precious to the Lord are you, the people of His flock. And, as such, you are precious to the pastor given charge of the flock.
As for me, as it was for Paul, “You are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.” Philippians 4:1 (NLT)
The eternal exists now and forever. What God is doing brings us into that bigger picture. The pressures of today will be different in a few years. Rationing of food and other items existed during World War II, and then it changed. These things too will fade away. But what God is doing in you will last. Being part of what God is doing in you a worthy challenge and worthwhile goal. The joy for me and for pastors is seeing God’s people walking faithfully with Him, fulfilling their purpose, and finally being presented perfect in their relationship with Christ.
How has your relationship with the Lord been helped or hampered by pastors you have had over the years?
Have you had any misunderstandings of the responsibilities pastors have?
What do you appreciate about Christ’s design of having pastors in His church?
(e-mail address for Pastor Randy Huddleston: firstname.lastname@example.org )