FOR PASTORS, ON MONDAY

from PreachingToday.com

Splendid Friends

There are holy people in this beleaguered congregation, I realized. Noble, splendid, high-born people of God who will help keep me safe and be the delight of my life. I wrote the date, 2/98, in the margin.

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I Got to Preach Last Sunday

What is that feeling? It was as if I’d dressed in the crisp white of the kingdom, as if I’d arrived in the stately uniform of a royal official bearing a scroll inscribed by the Lord Christ himself. The message on my lips came with royal authority.

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“Sweet Sorrow”

Amidst all the noise and commotion of a commercial wharf, Paul “knelt down with all of them and prayed.” What could be more natural than including God in a last huddle of Christian brothers? When I anticipated saying goodbye to my congregation of 22 years, I invited households to meet with me for prayer. Over the course of my last three weeks 55 of them came.

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Risk and Reward

Pastors have always wryly observed that we didn’t get into this for the money. Maybe money doesn’t pose a temptation for you, but all of us are susceptible to covetousness—wanting what others have. … I can think of few Christians who have more opportunities to get rich slowly than pastors.

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Safe

For us, insecurity is an occupational hazard and a ministry inconsistency. After all, we constantly assure our people of God’s unwavering love and protection yet it seems God so often pushes us to the breaking point of faith and confidence.

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Guardians

Over the years, we’ve all known some difficult and even dangerous troublemakers in our congregations but wolves are rare, at least in my experience. As Paul intimates, they tend to emerge from church leadership—pastors, elders, or teachers—people positioned to lead others astray. We ourselves are not immune. You or I could become our own worst enemy.

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