High-capacity leader who can preach with wit, develop leaders and build the church. Must be visionary risk taker who can lead a global movement of the gospel. Ability to maintain stylish beard preferred.
Successful candidate can expect a burgeoning public platform and the opportunity to influence large numbers of people through both speaking and writing engagements. Financial compensation included.
No one ever sent me that job description…
But after taking in countless blogs I created it in my head. The challenge and risk got my blood pumping; the potential platform touched on my pride. Preach at packed conferences…write books…wear flannel…what’s not to like? Now there’s nothing wrong with those things but they’re not the foundation of local church ministry. My view of pastoring had more to do with our current cultural climate then it did with the Bible. I needed a reality check. I’m a young pastor, but even in my short experience I’m learning the difference between my former idea of church ministry and the reality:
- My idea was fast-paced and exciting; the reality requires long laborious obedience.
- My idea was glamorous; the reality can be thankless.
- My idea was about charging the hill; the reality is about shepherding people.
Its easy for me to get discouraged when ministry doesn’t match my expectations. But God recently reminded me that the foundation of pastoral ministry isn’t conferences or platforms, it’s people.
So I exhort the elders among you… 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock…Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:1-3,5 (ESV)
God called me (and maybe you) to shepherd his people: to love them, pray for them and lead them. Sometimes that includes exciting new initiatives and video worthy breakthroughs. Other times that includes difficult phone calls and unmet expectations. But through it all we have the privilege of helping people make Jesus the center of their lives. There is no calling more meaningful than that, it may not come with lots of followers but I can’t really grow a beard anyway.
Josh Miller (@joshmiller0604) is a Church Planting Catalyst with Summit Network and a Church Planting Pastor at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.