A pastor’s vocation is unlike most—it is a humble, unique calling. If you are a pastor or you pray for your pastor, you may benefit from the following perspective, which for forty years has helped me follow the apostle Paul’s charge to Timothy to “keep up the good fight of faith.”
Responding to God’s call to the pastorate is not for the faint of heart. To be a pastor, of course, is a great privilege—for it affords a person the opportunity to work intimately with “the great Shepherd of the sheep.” Answering this call is also a risky adventure. Why? With Luke’s parable of the good Samaritan in mind, Augustine understood Christ as the “kindly Samaritan,” the great physician. A person before Christ was understood by him in this parable as “injured,” because he or she fell into the hands of robbers. But now through Christ the believer is “undergoing treatment,” that is, convalescing in the inn, the church. With this word picture in mind, the church is understood as a gathering of sick people getting well. This healing of a soul takes a long time, and hurting people often hurt others. Pastors who get discouraged or hurt by this process tend either to be less effective or to want to find another job. That’s one of the reasons being a pastor is risky.
Click here to continue these thoughts. Doing so will connect you to a blog I wrote to pastors that posted on the main blog site for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Intersect: Where Faith meets Culture. I am humbled that it was their first post for this new year and that it has been widely read and shared by others. Enjoy!