Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pastors Perks

Most people know that being a pastor is very hard work; involving long hours, multiple challenges, with few breaks. But there are also some perks associated with the vocation. Here are a few:

1. A Front Seat to the Spiritual Action.
As a pastor I get to see people come to faith and then watch them develop in their relationship to God. I have a front-row seat at these life-transformations, and I get to see how faith works in times of crisis too.

2. A Lot of Friends.
My life is filled with more friends than I can possibly keep up with. It has been that way for twenty years. In fact, I have friends up-and-down the state of Florida, and some across the country. Almost everyone loves their pastor – this is universal. During times when Renae and I have moved our family from one church to another, there was already a group of people waiting to welcome us the day we arrived.

3. Confidence.
With a few exceptions, church congregations stand ready to believe in their minister from the very first Sunday. Acceptance such as this would take months or years to develop in most other occupations.

4. My Work has Value.
Eternal destinies are at stake. Jesus died to save sinners, not the spotted owl. To this work I have been called. Christ’s purpose in the earth is to call out a people to Himself and build His Church. I am honored to be a channel through which grace, love, and the Holy Spirit may flow and be made real to others.

5. Affirmation.
This is hard to define, but easy to describe. It's the five people who promise to pray for me and my family. It’s the invitation to come over to grill. It’s the apple pie left on my front porch. It’s the hug from a six-year-old child who says, “I love you pastor.” And it’s the encouragement that comes from someone saying, “Your message really helped me this morning” or “I appreciate you taking time with me this week.”