Why are pastors to study, spend themselves, and sacrifice for their people?

The stresses, expectations, and rigors of pastoral ministry can leave many pastors asking this question…”Is all this worth it?”  Many today are answering this question with, “No, it’s not.”  I assume you have observed much that I have in regard to the brief stints of many young pastors who eventually don’t pursue another pastorate after leaving one.  They declare, “This is not worth it” and begin a career where the stress, expectation, difficulty, and demands are less and more apt to be left at the office until the next morning. 

You may be the pastor I am talking about.  You just had “that” phone call…heated confrontation…member battling reoccuring sin…counseling time…or a rough passage to preach and you have concluded, “That’s it.  It’s not worth it.”  May we be reminded of why we as pastors are called to study, spend, and sacrifice in these ways by the great Puritan, John Flavel: 

O Brethren!  Who would not study and pray, spend and be spent, in the service of such a bountiful Master!  Is it not worth all our labours and sufferings, to come with all those souls we instrumentally begat to Christ: and all that we edified, established, confirmed, and comforted in the way to heave; and say, Lord, here am I, and the children thou hast given me?  To hear one spiritual child say, Lord this is the minister by whom I believed:  Another, this is he, by whom I was edified, established, and comforted.  This is the man that resolved my doubts, quickened my dying affections, reduced my soul, when wandering from the truth!

Dear pastors, wherever and whatever ministry situation you find yourself in today, remember this is our divine, glorious calling…to study and pray, spend and be spent for our people because we serve such a bountiful Master!  We of all people in the universe should know this.  Therefore, study, pray, counsel, spend yourself, weep, struggle, sacrifice, preach, and lead as if we serve a great Master who will complete the work that He started in us and our people.  Labor this week, knowing the picture Flavel paints for us awaits all of us who persevere in both faith and ministry until the end.

Posted in Oversight of Souls, Training for Ministry
4 comments on “Why are pastors to study, spend themselves, and sacrifice for their people?
  1. pauly D says:

    What a tremendously ENCOURAGING post!

    Thank you, Brian. I’m a very young lay elder and need all the encouragement I need. Right now, it’s very easy and all very exciting to me. But I’m sure one day, the temptation to give up will be high and I need to be reminded of posts like these and words like Flavel’s.

  2. Mark J says:

    In God’s mighty provision this post came to my e-mail inbox at a time when I am in one of the darkest places as far as ministry is concerned and where my faith has taken a beating. I have questioned this so much recently and came very close to being one of the many that cries out in utter desperation, “This is not worth it!” Brian, thank you for your obedience to God in writing this post as HE has used this to revive my hope and help me carry on for yet another day. Your wisdom and encouragement has served The Body well and I believe many pastors will likewise be strengthened from this post. You have blessed me. Thank you.
    Mark J (Australia)

  3. Matt says:

    That was such a good exhortation for me this morning (for many different reasons). Your blog is much appreciated… thank you and blessings brother!

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Why are pastors to study, spend themselves, and sacrifice for their people?"
  1. […] be feared.  In fact, we should come to this place through certain seasons of ministry if we are “spending and being spent in the service of our bountiful Master.”  Watch for it.  Let others know once you have identified it.  If you are not a pastor, be […]

  2. […] be feared.  In fact, we should come to this place through certain seasons of ministry if we are “spending and being spent in the service of our bountiful Master.” Watch for it.  Let others know once you have identified it.  If you are not a pastor, be […]

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