From time to time pastors are asked, “So, what do you do all day?” The immediate seconds following such a question are filled with mixed emotions. Do people think we just show up on Sunday, stand up after the worship and read some well prepared notes? The calling to shepherd God’s people is not one to be taken lightly.
Pastoral ministry is not for the faint of heart, or the lazy. In fact, 2 Timothy 4:2 says, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct; rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.”
Yet a pastor’s role is to do more than deliver a “good” message. Oswald Chambers said, “The world does not need sermons; it needs a message. You can go to seminary and learn how to preach sermons, but you will have to go to God to get messages.” A pastor needs to be a conduit of God’s word to the people of God. Perhaps you’ve had a TV or radio that didn’t give you a clear and reliable picture, or cut in and out from time to time. The reception to the antennae was more than likely obstructed and the image or sound could not be conducted clearly. Similarly, a pastor, as a communicator of God’s word needs to be in clear communication with God free of obstructions.
When we feed you, we don’t want to just give you the crumbs from the table. We want to offer you a feast. The better fed you are the healthier you will be. And the healthier you are, the less you will need to see the pastor for counseling. I have never found in a single scripture where if a believer has problems the first thing he should do is go to the pastor. The first thing he should do is go to the Lord. Then, the Lord might lead him to go to a trusted brother or sister, for all believers are called to be ministers. (Ephesians 4:12)
As our ministry endeavors have expanded, so has the level of administration. At times I’ve felt more like a CEO than a pastor. However, Acts 6:3, reminds me that I am not the first to struggle with this challenge, nor will I be the last. “Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and ministry of the word.” More and more we need people like these seven who will come alongside us pastors and release us to focus our time and energies on prayer and study of the Word.
Not only has God directed us to build the Pavilion Prayer Tower and to make it available to intercessors from across the land and from around the world, but God has directed your pastors to give more time to personal prayer and study of the Word. In fact, there’s a small, quiet space set aside in the Prayer Tower for that very purpose.
I look forward to a new season of “intensive care prayer,” extra time set aside for the Lord – time when I can commune with God free of obstruction and continue to “get the messages” that God has for us.