I am currently reading Shawn Lovejoy’s book, The Measure Of Our Success: An Impassioned Plea To Pastors, and it has been a joy. This morning I read a portion that challenged me and I thought I would share it. It comes from a chapter entitled, “Prophecy, Criticism, and Success,” which deals with the responsibility for pastors to fulfill the role of prophet in their respective churches. By prophet, he simply means speaking “Thus saith the Lord.”
Here is what he wrote:
God is looking for prophets on whom he can pour out his Spirit – prophets who recognize that criticism comes with the call to be a prophet. We will be accused. People are going to get upset. We’re going to have to release people from our ministry and care. People are going to leave. We are going to lose followers along the way. We might even lose a few “friends.” Jesus did. Loss will bring hurt, loneliness, and discouragement our way.
He continues with this:
There are three things every pastor needs to know:
- Pastoring is hard.
- Pastoring is very hard.
- Pastoring is the hardest thing you could do with your life.
I am not at all discouraged by this – I am challenged. What a great reminder for all of us in ministry!