Friday, May 16, 2008

A Tribute To Pastors

Pastors are unique individuals who carry a lot of responsibility. They often live their lives in a fish bowl with members of society watching their every move waiting for direction or to pass judgment.

One of the primary purposes of this Blog is to give tribute to pastors, encourage them, and provide resources for them. A pastor’s work often goes unnoticed for those unfamiliar with the behind the scenes life of a pastor.

Here is a list, or tribute so to speak, about why pastors are so special:

Pastors Teach

Most likely a pastor’s most important trait is that they teach the word of God. We all need teachers when it comes to learning and growing in Christ. Discipleship is a critical need in the Body of Christ today. This is a huge responsibility for pastors.

Pastors Are Creative In Getting Our Attention

I have been fortunate in the past with some of the best pastor/teachers who have gone out of their way to prove a point. One pastor had a pizza delivered during service to prove a point about being hungry for God. He also made us wear hairnets as a reminder of how we should be servants. That took time and effort and creativity when he could have just gone on stage and read.

Pastors Pray

Pastors spend hours praying for their members, friends, community, etc. Whatever the need, pastors are bringing it before God. It is nice to know that despite all our troubles, we have someone who cares and prays for us.

Pastors Give

Pastors are constantly giving. They give their time, their money, their energy, etc. They work continually to share God’s love and God’s word. They plan so much time trying to meet the needs of the church and community. They give food, they give hope, they give money, facilities, entertainment, worship, etc. It often goes unnoticed how much a pastor gives.

Pastors Show Love

Pastors are some of the most loving people I know. They love the unlovable. They give their love to a messed-up humanity who seldom loves back.

Pastors Counsel

Pastors spend a lot of time counseling. When people are hurting, a pastor is there to help them get through this low in their life. In our marriage, pastors have provided tremendous counsel to help us be better husbands and wives by teaching us areas of improvement in God’s word. They provide every kind of counseling available from financial to spiritual to marriage to fears, etc. They will stop everything to be of assistance in times of need.

Pastors Cry and Laugh With You

Pastors are there to celebrate births, praises, miraculous recoveries or any joy with you. But pastors are also there when you are sick, dealing with loss of a loved one or just having a hard time.

This is just touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to documenting all the great things pastors do for our society. So don’t forget to say a simple “Thank You" to your pastor. Never criticize your pastor unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. If your pastor was not there every time you wish they had been, just realize the pastor can only be in one place at a time.

Today's Quote

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." -- Thomas Edison, Inventor

Top 68 Benefits of Children's Ministry

Heart To Heart

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” Prov. 4:23 (NIV). At first, this Scripture seems pretty self-explanatory until you start to dig deeper and realize that the “suggestion” from King Solomon was really not that at all. It was a warning, an admonition. Our hearts are the "wellspring of life," and you know what happens when a wellspring is contaminated by impurities: sickness, even death for those who depend on the wellspring for their sustenance. If you don’t guard the purity of your heart, you risk losing your life. With all the madness that is available to you today — on television, on the newsstand, on billboards, on the Internet — not guarding your heart can lead you horribly astray.

I have known this scripture for most of my adult life but it never came into focus until our children came along. Having a kid in the house — or in your car — suddenly makes you hypersensitive to everything. That guy is driving too fast. Those teenagers are cursing. That magazine in the store is disgusting. And when your new sensitivity alarm starts blaring, you are struck with the realization that somewhere along the way you stopped noticing all the inappropriate material in the world. You got used to it.

Have you ever driven into work and tuned in to Fluffy and Zippy and the Morning Zoo only to realize that all they’re doing is being horribly cynical, making fun of helpless people, talking about sex all morning and going right up to the edge of what the permissive FCC will allow? Have you also noticed that you brought a lot of that same cynicism into your workplace with you? Into your home?

There is a great line from The Untouchables movie when Elliot Ness realizes he has lost his pure heart in his quest to "nail" Gangster Al Capone. He says, “I have become what I beheld.”

Distracted by the prize of putting the legendary Capone behind bars, Ness uses tactics that he would never have considered before engaging Capone. He became that which he most despised, because he spent every waking hour (and many sleeping hours) gazing straight at it.

The danger we face by not “guarding our hearts” is that we can become what we behold.

Gossiperss and backstabbers get desensitized to a lot of pretty rotten stuff. They no longer realize the terrible harm they do.

[John Tesh]