Top 10 Things Pastors Do That Inspire Me

Surely you didn’t think I’d slam the men of the cloth one day and not give ’em a shout out the next? So here’s my list of the Top 10 Things Pastors Do That Inspire Me:

(10) Teach. Through their own lives as well as through their sermons, pastors teach us to know God better and love Him more. They teach us how to live the kind of life that God intends for us.

(9) Listen. This is really hard for some people, really easy for others. But pastors have to be good listeners all the time, and this requires huge amounts of compassion and discipline.

(8) Encourage. Following Christ can be hard and very discouraging. While pastors have to deal with this difficulty and discouragement themselves, at the same time they champion the cause and encourage the rest of us to keep on the right path. They remind us that God can get us through anything and that it will all be worth it in the end.

(7) Steer clear from all the stuff on yesterday’s list. ‘Nuff said.

(6) Put themselves on the front line. The Bible is very clear that we are in a spiritual war zone, and pastors are the volunteer Special Forces. They’re the first ones into the mess and the last ones out. They have big, bright red targets painted on them, and they wear it willingly.

(5) Do stuff they stink at. Even pastors who are successful at focusing on their strengths still have to do a lot of stuff that they stink at. They have to be a jack-of-all-trades. They’re expected to be experts in financial management, counseling, preaching, the Bible, administrating an organization, computers, graphic design, and on and on and on. Nobody is good at everything, but the pastor still has to try.

(4) Sacrifice. The demands on a pastor require great personal sacrifices of his time, money, energy, and even family. Trying to be the 24-Hours-A-Day-7-Days-A-Week-Selfless-Guy is grueling.

(3) Carry the burden of many broken lives. Have you ever had a friend share a problem with you, and it really weighed you down? Such confidences are especially heavy when you can’t lighten the load by sharing it with anyone else. Pastors constantly carry the heavy burden of knowing all the painful and ugly crap in everyone’s lives. These heroes make Atlas look wimpy.

(2) Give up the pursuit of worldly goals. From the day we exit the womb, we’re primed to pursue happiness–wealth, fame, satisfaction, pleasure, all that stuff. We’re constantly surrounded by people with good intentions who encourage us to go after these things. But pastors intentionally set aside self-centered pursuits in order to devote themselves to glorifying God and serving others. Many of them could hit the jackpot in the secular marketplace, but have decided instead to commit themselves to loftier objectives.

(1) Point people toward God. Pastors have this seemingly conflicted task of being in the spotlight for the purpose of pointing people toward God. While they have people’s attention on them, they must divert the spotlight to illuminate God. This requires wisdom, discernment, and humility. Amazingly, so many pastors do this remarkably well. Sure, you have your celebrity rock-star preachers, but by far most of the ones I’ve known are truly humble men who dedicate their lives to pointing people toward the Savior.

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Published in: on March 17, 2007 at 8:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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