The Greatest Calling

I have been a pastor at the same church for over 20 years and, like you, understand the challenges of ministry. Pastors experience the great joy of leading people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the gut-wrenching emotion of watching a father serve as the lone pall-bearer carrying the casket holding his infant son down the aisle and setting it at the front of the church. And then we are supposed to get up and say something meaningful.

Not long ago I stood in an Intensive Care Unit with a mom and dad whose son had been in a terrible accident. I was there when the doctors came in and told them that he had less than a 10 percent chance to live. I prayed that God would give me something to say and at the same time every emotion in me wanted to be somewhere else. I also rejoiced with that family several weeks later when they sat in church with their son.

You know the drill. Every week we are expected to lead our staff in such a way that morale is high and the church is running like a well-oiled machine. We are to provide appropriate peer leadership for our elders and deacons. We are expected to give vision talks that propel people to action. There are weddings with rehearsals and long receptions. There is always a funeral to perform. And then every weekend we stand to deliver a well-studied well-crafted message that moves people to action.

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