Monday, July 07, 2008

Faith and Life for Pastors

It is easy to pastors to look at other pastors with envy, usually when the other pastor's church is growing (and sometimes when the other church is at least not declining). But reading 1 Peter 5 this morning reminded me of Peter's charge to elders:

Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory (1 Peter 5:1-4).

It reminds me that we should share the faith of other pastors (if their faith is admirable). But to share their life is not ours to decide. The reward for faithful pastors comes "when the Chief Shepherd appears."

It is likely that little meaningful reward will come before then. We might have the joy of seeing people saved by God's grace, seeing families restored, seeing the chains of addiction broken, or some such little joys along the way.

But let us resist the temptation to get caught up in the comparison of life. Let us be content to be faithful (though judiciously unsatisfied), and look for the reward at the appearing of the Chief Shepherd.

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