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.