I can’t imagine a more difficult job than being a Pastor. He has to live out Philippians 2, while being surrounded by those who don’t. He has to be the church handyman, lawyer, counselor, babysitter ( for church members and their children), referee, preacher, student, and teacher. He has to have his phone on 24 hours a day. He has to try to minister to us whenever we have difficulty at any hour, share the love of Christ instead of punching us in the nose, which is more likely what we deserve. The people who most loudly detest being judged will nit pick a poor preacher apart. He must dress right , get his hair cut right, only say things to make people happy, and out of a 2000 word sermon, they will only remember a mispronounced word. He has to mediate between the elites and the lowly, and often finds himself stuck between some old bats having a lifelong cat fight. He needs to be perfect, but is still a man like the rest of us. I can’t pass that scrutiny for a day.
Perhaps the only job worse is the Pastors wife. The grand old bitty’s are watching over her like a hawk watching over a mouse. They are ready to pounce. She is free slave labor for church leaders and has to dress perfect, hair perfect, sit in the right place, talk to the right people and her cooking must satisfy everyone’s taste. She is responsible for having the perfect family, dressed perfect and on time, all the time. She is under the magnifying glass 24 hours a day and better not have a weak moment. It would never be forgotten or forgiven.
So why would any logical thinking person make a career out of being a preacher? Why would anyone subject themselves to such horrible treatment for such little pay? Only the love of Jesus. Sharing the love of Christ is so deeply ingrained in him that he just cant stop. It’s part of who he is. His identity is in Christ. In most countries that outlaw Christianity, he is the first to die. In America, church members and leaders crucify him differently. He has become their whipping boy. Nothing will pound the love of Jesus out of someone like his own church. Its pretty sad, we need our Pastors more than ever right now and we feel that a gift certificate to the Golden Corral on Pastor Appreciation Day is plenty.
Perhaps we need to adjust our mindset to serving our Pastor, and not be so critical. Maybe we would get to know him well enough to know how difficult his job is. Lets look for ways that we can take some of the weight off his shoulders so he can focus on Gods word and Gods work. Lets look for ways that we can support him, not to be seen by others, but to truly serve. Most importantly, pray for your Pastor. Really do it, don’t just say it. If he isn’t there to teach and minister to you, who else is there? Thank and pray for them both, they need it!