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Just for Preachers and Those Who Care for Them
“A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.”
I write this article just for preachers, faithful gospel preachers, men God has given to feed his church with knowledge and understanding, and for those people who care for them. I sometimes see pastors and their churches in conflict. It is my policy always, when conflict arises between a faithful pastor and the people he serves, to defend and support the pastor. Unless he has embraced some heretical doctrine in conflict with the gospel of Christ or has been engaged in some egregious moral evil, I always support and defend the gospel preacher. You should too.
Recently, I’ve had correspondence with two pastors which motivate me to write this brief article.
It should go without saying that encouragement is always appreciated. After sending a brief note to a friend encouraging him in his labor and complimenting him for an article I read in his bulletin, he replied saying, “Thank you very much my friend. I very rarely get any response from my folks. Is that typical?”
I responded to his note by telling him something another pastor I know once said. — “I’ve been writing bulletin articles for our congregation, two every week, for more than 50 years. In all those years I don’t recall ½ dozen encouraging comments from anyone. Many don’t even bother to take them home. — What a sad commentary about the people for whom we labor! All the more reason for us to labor on.”
My wife labors with great care to provide me with three good meals every day. She spends much time thinking about what to cook and works hard preparing the meal, serving it to me, and cleaning up the mess, three times every day. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten up from the table without thanking her and complimenting her for the meal. Such presumption would be unthinkable! Surely, the man who labors for your souls should be treated with no less respect and appreciation.
An Angry Pastor
On the same day, to a young pastor going through some things that (rightly or wrongly) greatly angered him, I wrote the following. — “Never carry your anger and disappointment into the pulpit. Rather, always seek to do what we are commanded to do in preaching (Isaiah 40:1-2). Pastoring is a relentless, heavy burden. It is not for the faint of heart. If God has put you in this work and given you the high honor of this gift, you must constantly seek his grace and strength to supply you with a tender heart for his people, an ear deaf to criticism and slander, shoulders broad enough and strong enough to carry piles of rocks, hands gentle enough to wipe a baby’s tears, a backbone of steel as wide as a freeway, and the hide of a rhinoceros. I am fully convinced that there is no work more demanding, less appreciated, and more totally consuming, and no work so honorable, so blessed, and so satisfying as the work of the ministry.”