Archive | March, 2014

Who Is That Preacher Guy?

5 Mar

To many, the local pastor is somewhat of an enigma. He is someone that they only see from a distance. He stands up in the pulpit and does a semi-masterful job of presenting a book that they only understand vaguely. He runs by and shakes their hand and says a few chosen words as he rushes out the door. They have seen him at the funeral of one of their loved ones and he has seemed to be authentically sympathetic. He stood and pronounced a couple as man and wife and did it with an incredible smile as though he were hosting a national event. In truth, they don’t know much about him. They figure he is someone who could not possibly understand the struggles that they encounter. There are things that they hope he never sees in their home or in their hearts. They are careful as to what words they say around him. There are some places that they go and frequent in which they hope he never sees them.

They really don’t know him. They don’t know that many times, he feels like he is totally and completely unqualified to take on the position that he holds. Many times, he feels weak and inadequate. Many times, he feels like resigning and walking away and letting someone else who could do the job better than him take over.

They don’t know that he also struggles with sin. They perceive that there are things in their lives that never touch him. He could not possibly know temptation.

But he does. He also sometimes holds the remote control in his hand and wants to navigate it to places that he knows he should not go. His hand has also hovered over the mouse and wanted to click the icon that offers him an invitation to things that are completely inappropriate and wrong. He has also received too much change at the restaurant and been tempted to not give it back.

He has been given to a temper. He has sometimes lost his composure at his children or his wife. He worries about his teenager just like you did. He sometimes wonders if he will survive those formative years in the life of his child.

He worries that he is not being the best husband and father possible. He is scared to death with every decision he makes regarding his family. What if it’s the wrong decision? What if he says or does something that scar his children for life? His teenager only has a few more years in his care. Has he totally prepared that child for what lies ahead?

He has extended family that he cannot stand to be around. And there are extended family members that cannot stand to be around him.

He also looks at the stack of bills on his table and wonders how he can make the dollars stretch out until the next paycheck. He also looks at the cars in the car lot that he drives by and wishes that one of them were his and he was not driving the car that he currently has in his possession.

In short, he is human. He knows exactly what you are going through because he is one of you. Yes, he is commanded by scripture to hold to a high standard. But that doesn’t mean that he always reaches that standard. He falls often. And when he falls, he has no choice but to get back up and try again.

He feels all of the pain and struggle that you feel. He knows where to look just like you do. He relies on Jesus just like he wants you to rely on the Savior. But sometimes, he struggles in doing that. When he tells you that he understands, he means it.

He means it because he is human just like you.

And he also means it when he says that he prays for you. His church family is always on his mind. His ministry is always on his heart. He connects, right or wrong, his success in his field with how well you are living out your life for Jesus.

That does not mean that he wants you to succeed only so he can look good. That is not the case at all. He simply wants you to have the very best that Jesus can offer. He wants you to understand how much God loves you. He feels that it is his job to make the riches of Scripture known. And when you cannot grasp that, he feels like he has let both you and God down.

He walks on an emotional razors edge. Many times, during the day, he goes from incredible euphoria over seeing what God is doing in the life of his church to amazing depression over one person that has decided to fall away from the flock.

One word from you can either plunge him further into depression or bring him back into the reality of what an amazing calling he truly has in his life. All it takes is for you to encourage him every now and then with a sincere, heartfelt affirmation.

You may not always understand that man on the platform at your church. But maybe it will help you to understand that he is just like you. Maybe it will help you to understand that he truly cares about you. It is not just his job. It is what God has placed on his heart. And everyday, he struggles. And everyday,he tries again.

Pray for him. He needs it.