Why I Love Being A Pastor: 5 Favorite Things
by Jack Wellman, Christian Media Magazine
April 9, 2015
I could list more than five things that I love about being a pastor but here might be my favorite ones. Which ones might you think of?
I was told in seminary to preach the gospel in each sermon because there are likely some in the congregation that have never really been saved. Jesus gave the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares with the understanding that He was saying that there will always be unregenerate people mixed among those who are saved (Matt 13:24-30), therefore it makes in necessary to use good, expository preaching in every single message from behind the pulpit because there is power in the message of the gospel to change lives (Rom 1:16) and the power to save. Paul said“the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”(1 Cor 1:18) so this power must be unleashed every time I preach because we know that God’s says “my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). I don’t trust my own thoughts, ideas or opinions but I do trust God’s Word to do what He sets it out to do. I have had the greatest of privileges to lead people to saving faith in Christ but I knew it wasn’t really me that saved anyone but the Word itself as it takes a man of God, using the Word of God, with the Spirit of God, to make the children of God for the glory of God.
Compelled to Preach the Gospel
It might seem that I covered this already but let me explain why this is another of the reasons that I love being a pastor. I feel absolutely compelled to do it. For over 25 years, when I was much younger, I also taught Sunday school but it felt like something was missing for many years. I felt like it wasn’t enough and I couldn’t figure it out until I got the chance to fill the pulpit one time for a pastor that was retiring. Then I understood what Jeremiah felt in 20:9 “If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name, there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.’” Like Paul I say that “preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News” (1 Cor 9:16)! Pastors that I know will tell you “we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20) and like Paul “I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish” (Rom 1:14). I can honestly tell you that I would be miserable doing anything else in life which agrees with Paul’s statement “For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Cor 9:16b)! Like the runner in Chariots of Fire, I feel God’s holy pleasure in me when I preach the gospel, as imperfect as I am. I often tell the church; “Part of my sermon today will be perfect…the part where I read out of the Bible” but I have no other choice in life.
Loving the Flock
I have a tradition every Sunday morning. On the last worship song that is sung before the sermon, I go around to as many people as I can and hug them and tell them that I thank God for them being there. Some people are huggers and so I hug them, some are uncomfortable with hugging and I respect that and even though I am a hugger, I shake their hand or pat them on the shoulder and tell them I am glad they are there. I love the people of God and there is no other place that I would rather be than with the people of God and to love the people of God and to thank God for these people. I try to never take them for granted that they are there adding to the worship service and giving it a more meaningful experience and adding to the filling out of the Body of Christ, the church. I love these people as if they were my own family because they truly are. I pray for them, I tell them to their face, “I love you,” and I appreciate what they contribute to the church in whatever way they do. I try to be specific and not just using empty words with insincere flattery.
I have some young men that I am mentoring but don’t get me wrong … I have a mentor too. I believe that every Timothy needs a Paul but every Paul needs a Timothy. The Body is to grow up together and to be accountable to one another. I believe that my experience, my failures, and my successes must be shared with younger men so that when I am gone someday, they can take up the lantern like Elisha took up the lantern for Elijah. Pastors should train men to take up and continue the ministry when they are gone. Not one of us knows where we’ll be in the next year, not to mention next week, and we must train, equip, and prepare young men to take up where we might leave off like Paul did with Timothy and Titus. Paul instructed Timothy “Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Tim 4:11-13). Like Paul considered Titus his own true son (Titus 1:4) and there was no greater joy, so too did Paul consider Timothy as his spiritual son. Mentoring brings joy because I get to see these young men’s lives be transformed but I need mentoring too and my mentor is our retired pastor of the church where I am at now, proving that we never outlive the necessity to be mentored and to mentor others.
This might be something you wouldn’t expect but when people come to me, they know that they can confide in me and I won’t share their struggles with anyone. I keep all of my counseling sessions in strict confidence. When people tell me that they’re struggling with pornography, drugs, sexual addictions, same-sex attraction, alcohol, marital problems or whatever else it is, the most frustrating part is that sometimes I can’t help them but I do know Who can and it’s not a human. I heard one pastor say that living the Christian life is not hard…it’s impossible so we need God’s supernatural strength to help all of us to overcome in different areas of life but during the times that I can actually help someone to transform their life through prayer, the Word of God, intervention, accountability applications or whatever it is, there is tremendous joy in this. I also tell those that I counsel that I am not their solution, God is and what I can’t do, He can but to have people come to me with problems that they have only shared with God and no one else makes me feel that they trust me thoroughly and know that I won’t gossip to anyone about their weaknesses because I too have my own personal struggles.
Maybe you can find something else that you love about being a pastor. Another thing I love about my ministry is that I get to study the Word of God during my writing (as I’m bi-vocational) and during my message preparations for sermons. Since I get so much enjoyment out of studying and reading the Word of God, it’s such a privilege to love what I do and to feel that I am fulfilling God’s purpose for my life for which there is nothing in life more satisfying than being in the sovereign will of God.