When our heads are spinning and our hearts are bewildered, love is how we walk a straight line. People matter more than things. The person in front of you matters more than the crowd. Welcome the little ones in Jesus’ name. Search for the one lost sheep.
Pastors spill countless words, but we all learn that once in a while God allows us to say one thing—one Big Thing—which turns the rudder of someone’s life. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. “(Prov. 15:11)
Pastors, like Moses, are standard bearers, holding high the Lord Jesus Christ. Our church advances when Christ is held high in their midst but should our energy flag or we lose our faith or focus, our people will fall back, defenseless.
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.