To the editor:
“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service.” Ephesians 4:11-12.
No pastor will stand before you or me or give an account to you or me on the Day of Judgment. But each of us, whether we are a king or a president, a CEO or a factory worker, and adult or a youth, will stand and give an account of ourselves before God on that Final Day!
A pastor who “correctly handles the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15) will have a tendency at times to make his congregants uncomfortable. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edge sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Sometimes God’s word brings conviction; sometimes it brings comfort. James 3:1 states that, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Being a pastor is a high calling, and not an easy one at that!
But what about we who sit in the pews each week? In 1st Corinthians 11:31, it says, “But if we would judge ourselves, we would not come under judgment.” And Luke 12:48 states that, “From everyone who has been given much, much more will be demanded; and the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” We on this side of the pulpit are to be students of the word.
A well-known pastor was belittled and told in anger that he was nothing but a donkey, causing him to be down in the dumps for a time, until a wise man told him that even the lowly donkey knew that the rider and heavy supplies placed on his back wasn’t for him but for the benefit of the one placed on his back who needed to be carried.
Speaking the “truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) isn’t an easy task. Instead, it causes us all to “... grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” Think of the word “grow.” Children experience growing pains. As Christians, we are supposed to “grow up” in our salvation now that we have tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:2).
My prayer for my pastor, the pastors in our community, myself, and for the 75 percent of Americans who profess to be Christians, is the same as that of Paul’s in Philippians 1:9-11. “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best. ...”
Are you critical of your pastor, or do you appreciate him? If you appreciate him, how are you expressing your appreciation?
Thank you, pastors! And carry on, carry on!