Matthew 10:41 (AMP) He who receives and welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous (honorable) man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month, most churches celebrated and honored their pastor’s yesterday (ours did it the first Sunday). To be called into the pastoral ministry is a joy. We are tasked with the duty of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry, the ministry of reconciliation, as we were called into it first.
My husband and I have been on a series called “Restore” all year. We have taken the past few weeks to tackle a subject regarding “My Calling.” We find that many in the church start to chase after their calling. Leaving, and forsaking the covering of their pastors, and seeking out those who will promote their calling. Did I just say covering? Is that not old fashioned? Do you not think that this is anything new? The letters in the New Testament were not written to the unbeliever, they were written to the church. Hebrews 10:25 talks about not forsaking the meeting together as some have come into the habit of. What would the writer say about the church today, staying at home, watching on You Tube and disconnected from serving one another?
Hebrews 13:7 (AMP) Obey your [spiritual] leaders and submit to them [recognizing their authority over you], for they are keeping watch over your souls and continually guarding your spiritual welfare as those who will give an account [of their stewardship of you]. Let them do this with joy and not with grief and groans, for this would be of no benefit to you.
I understand there have been abuses. Your pastor does not have the right to tell you who you can marry, where you can live, what job you are to take, nor what car to buy. Your pastor does have the right to tell you that the counsel you have chased after to build up your calling, is not where you need to be. The pastoral calling is heavy and will come with more responsibility.
The initial verse of this is Jesus speaking. Jesus went to His hometown. He desired to see people set free where ever He went. The same power to heal and bring back to life flowed through Him every where He went. Why did it not flow freely in His home town? They still saw Him as the boy that grew up there and not the man who walked in freedom that all the other towns were able to receive from. They could not receive from Him because they saw Him as common. How do you approach the gathering on Sundays? Do you go with expectation? Or are you expecting the same thing every week?
Pastors are vision carriers. They have a passion to see you become free and to do the work of the ministry. That is not always vacuuming or cleaning the bathrooms, but sometimes it is. What it really is…the ministry of reconciliation. Who are we doing the serving with? Those who need freedom in their life, just like you. Do not get so caught up in the work that you do not see the person you are working along side and not get to know them.
I do a lot of one on one care. I will invite someone to do an activity and get to know them. I will find out how I can pray for them, direct them in the Word, share my own struggles and how I am overcoming in the Word, find out their interests and just get to know them. That is what it looks like. Then I will help them do the same for someone else. Not everyone will have a relationship like that with me. Some still see me as the teenage girl, that wore short skirts, dating the pastor’s son. Some still see me as the young woman that would roll her eyes. Does that mean I am not the person I am today? I do not remember that young girl, even if others do. That does not mean I will not serve them.
During this Pastor Appreciation Month take stock of how you see your pastor(s). Pastors, take a look at how you lead and serve the people God has called you to. We are connected for a reason and the reason is the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). We are no longer bound, but free. Freedom takes work to figure out, there are root areas that will try to keep us from putting on the newness (Colossians 3:10) we have become, it takes all of us to get there.
Father, thank you for your goodness, mercy and grace. Let me see the people you have called me to with fresh eyes. I no longer want to see them as common. Your Son said that if I would receive people with honor and see them as righteous that I would receive a righteous man’s reward. I want all that you have for me, so I choose today to lay down my rights and stand on Your truth. Forgive me for not receiving from the pastor(s) you have placed in my life. They have only wanted to see me free and I repent for fighting them in my stubbornness. I surrender my heart to You. Let it be tender and responsive to Your Holy Spirit. I choose to surrender today. Thank you for giving me the ministry of reconciliation, so that I can share Christ with others. I do not take it for granted. It is the calling that you trusted me with. I will not run the race in vain. I choose you today. In Jesus Name, Amen.