Recently I prayed with a pastor who was on the verge of quitting. As I laid hands on him to pray, I broke out in tears and my entire body began to shake even before I saw any response in him. The realities that pastors face are quite real to me and my spirit responded to his pain.
Pastors play an important role in the lives of many people. Sometimes they are acknowledged and other times they may be ignored. In this post, I want to take a look at some of the things that drive them to do the kind of ministry they do. Although these desires are not truly secrets, they are often unexpressed.
1. I Want the Ideal for People
More than just doing a job, I love to see lives changed. I want to see real transformation in people's lives. There is an ideal that I would love to see in people as they mature in the faith.
But I also realize that people must make their own decisions. I cannot decide for them and I cannot force them. Ultimately it's their choice.
2. I Want the Church to Outlive Me
I am not interested in making a place for me to display my preaching skills. The church should serve the purposes that God intended. I only have a temporary role in that process.
I may only be around for a few decades in this local church, but I hope to get things organized in a way that the church should be less dependent on me as time goes on.
Every leader I develop has the potential to grow into all that God intended for them. I truly want them to step up and take the leadership. I would love to pass on the pastorship of our church to a leader raised up in this church.
3. I Want to Put My Family First
After my relationship with God, there is nothing more important to me than my family. In the midst of all my pursuits for the church, my family gets priority.
Much beyond personal interests, the church needs special care for it to be formed and organized for its purposes. But it cannot consume all my waking hours or all my energies.
The church is more than a job or career. I understand it to be my calling in life. So I don't focus on "moving up" in this profession. I focus on developing myself as a leader to enable the church to develop into the best it can be.
All of this needs to be done without sacrificing my family. After all is said and done, I need to go home to my family, as my first responsibility is to them.
4. I Want My Life to Matter
The demands on the pastor and family are many. But among all the responsibilities, I want to make a difference. I want my life to matter.
I want to be able to step aside several years from now and know that I was able to impact families and individuals. I want my life to truly be a change agent in society. It’s not driven by a desire to make a name or to be recognized, but I want to see the effects of investing my life into the community.
5. I Want to be Me
Perceptions of leaders and pastors are numerous. I realize that expectations are real and they all cannot be completely neglected. The cultural demands of the nation I serve are numerous and detailed.
But let's be real – I still want to be me. At the end of the day I need to look in the mirror and know that I was true to myself, my family, and the call of God on my life.
These desires are my own, but many pastors may concur with me on these things. I hope this list gives you a glimpse into the heart of a pastor. Use this as an opportunity to understand and encourage your pastor.
If you appreciate the role of a pastor in your life, please share one of your experiences in the comments section of this blog post. Maybe it will be an encouragement for others as well.