Another quality made Moses a familiar name in the courts of God. He tied his fortune and future to Israel, just as God himself had. No pastor ever led such a heartbreaking group of malcontents as Moses did, yet even when God offered to cut them loose and build a great nation from Moses, he wouldn’t have it.
When we’re hired we all talk about vision and goals but then comes those blizzards where we can’t see a thing, our agenda is forgotten, and all we hope is to get safely home. Paul’s second letter to Timothy focused on staying the course. “Proclaim the word,” he told Timothy, “in good seasons and bad.” Blizzards are bad seasons.
Pastors draw energy from promising and interesting challenges—a new discipleship strategy, a surge in visitors, young believers eager to grow, the next sermon series. But sometimes the rains don’t come. The pandemic drove most pastors into a wilderness of bewildering tech demands, preaching to an empty room, and trying to shepherd without presence. Add to that the debilitating conflicts so many pastors face among their people. Badlands indeed.
It could seem that refreshing the saints is a kind of pastoral extra, like remembering to send your grandmother a birthday card, nice to squeeze in between the big stuff that dominates ministry. But we underestimate how weary, lonely, and thirsty our people often are.
You may feel like you’re trying to pastor with your staff tied behind your back but our Good Shepherd leads with sure and certain steps.