In my last two posts, I’ve talked about “pastoring” people. In one, I suggested that it is impossible for someone to shepherd hundreds or thousands of people. (See “The dangers of ‘pastoring’ hundreds or thousands.”) In the other, I suggested that we often consider the wrong things when we look for leaders among the church. (See “But he has an MDiv and ordination papers.”)
Given the topic of those posts, I thought this would be a good opportunity to answer a question that I’m asked fairly often: What are our pastors like? Well, thank you for asking. (And, if you didn’t ask, thank you for reading anyway.)
We’re a small group of believers by almost any standard. We typically gather with more than 2 or 3, but much fewer than 100. Even among a small group like this, we’ve recognized five mature brothers that we refer to as elders.
Each of these men have a family – with two, three, or even four children – and each of them works at least one full time job. (Since I am one of those recognized as “elders,” you can assume that everything after this refers to the others recognized as elders.) And, they are awesome at caring for other people!
Are they perfect? Of course not. Do they sometimes make mistakes? Yep. Do they have family, relational, work, financial, emotional, etc. struggles? Yes. But, I still say that they are awesome at caring for other people.
They spend time with others. They give of themselves over and over again. They serve. They teach. They help. They encourage. They constantly point people toward Jesus Christ. And, by the way, I’m not talking about them doing these things on Sundays when we gather together as a group of believers regularly. I’m talking about what they do daily.
But, guess what? While these men are great at pastoring others, these are not the only pastors in my life. God has placed many people in my life who are constantly caring for me and pointing me toward Jesus Christ and helping me walk with him. These people are my pastors as well. They teach me. They disciple me. They shepherd me.
Some of these people are students; some have been out of school for a long time. Some of them are younger; some are older. Some are men; some are women. Some are new believers; some have been following Jesus Christ for longer than I’ve been alive. Some meet with us weekly; some do not.
But, all of these people are pastors, and they all have one thing in common (besides being brothers and sisters in Christ): they spend time with me and my family in order to help us trust God.
These are my pastors. I wish I could share them with you. I know that they would be an encouragement to you just as they are to me.
Tell us about the pastors that God has placed in your life.