“This chain letter is meant to bring you happiness. Simply sit down and make a list of five other churches that are tired of their ministers. Send a copy of this letter to all five churches on the list. then send your pastor to the church on the bottom of the list. In one week you will receive 15,625 ministers, and one of them should work out of you. P.S. Don’t break the chain. One church did and got their old minister back.”
It’s not easy being a pastor. Recently, I was asked to speak at the ordination of Ben Pearson. It’s his first church and I think he is going to do a great job in the ministry. I love the passion of young pastors.
The last recorded letter of the Apostle Paul was to Timothy. Timothy was a young pastor and Paul wanted to encourage him. I shared with Ben some principles from Paul’s advise, I hope it will encourage you to understand the supreme responsibility of your pastor.
“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
A pastor must not just think of the congregation and how to please them, he must remember who it is that he is really serving – God. If he displeases God, it doesn’t matter whom he pleases. But if he pleases God, it doesn’t matter whom he displeases.
WHAT – “preach the Word”
An ordained minister is called to preach. This is not a suggestion but a command because it’s God’s Word that changes lives. A pastor should preach and teach as if a person’s eternal destiny hangs on his words because it does.
WHERE – “be prepared”
A pastor should be always ready to proclaim God’s Word wherever he is. Whether with a small group of people or on a Sunday morning, a preacher should be prepared.
WHEN – “in season and out of season”
Preachers proclaim God’s Word when it is convenient and when it is not, whether he feels like it or not. Be ready when the preaching is scheduled and when it is not. Look for opportunities to share God’s Word whether people listen or when they turn a deaf ear.
WHY – “people will not put up with sound doctrine”
The reason why preaching God’s Word is so important is because the closer we get to the return of Christ, people will not want to listen to it. They will want people to tell them what they want to hear, not what they need to hear from God. Most will turn from the truth. So preachers must keep telling the truth, even if people don’t want to hear it.
HOW – “correct, rebuke, encourage”
A preacher needs to appeal to the mind (correct), will (rebuke), and heart (encourage). Sometimes the message will uplift but other times the message will point areas of wrong behavior. But everything should motivate people to follow God.
A. T. Robertson once said, “One of the best proofs of the inspiration of the Bible is that it has withstood so much preaching!” Encourage your pastor. Let him know that God is working through him to help you in your life. It’s a tough job.
When Lyndon Johnson was elected president he asked his good friend, Billy Graham, to take a position in his administration. Without a moment’s thought, Billy said, “Sir, I believe that Jesus Christ has called me to preach His gospel. To me that is the highest calling any man could have on earth.”
Read some of my other articles about pastors: What your pastor really wants for Pastor Appreciation Month, Texting and other ways to annoy your pastor, Tribute to Pastor Bill Dinoff.