Acts 6:2 The twelve (Apostles) summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore… pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering…
The pastor who really loves God’s people will devote himself to care for their eternal soul. He will spend massive amounts of time in preparing to faithfully preach and teach God’s Word. He will spend multiple hours before God in prayer for the flock. He will push, challenge, and encourage them in their walk with God. The pastor who loves God’s people joyfully labors knowing he is… “keeping watch over (their) souls, as those who will have to give an account” (Heb 13:17-B).
Not every man who is a pastor is equipped, called, or should be serving in that capacity. There are men who should be godly deacons rather than one who shepherds God’s people. If a man does not faithfully and effectively communicate God’s Word he has NOT been called to pastor (1 Tim 3:2; 2 Tim 2:2; 2 Tim 2:24; 1 Thess 5:12; 1 Tim 5:17). He may be a God fearing and holy man, but he has not been called to shepherd God’s people from Scripture.
I’m just one voice, but I believe many in the pastoral ministry are more concerned with job security than carrying out God’s call. That is why many pastors cheat when they preach (“Cheating” is preaching other men’s messages as their own. It happens often and is unethical). They spent too much time doing good things and neglected the BEST thing (Devotion to prayer & the Word). Here’s the how this transgression sounds…
“He can’t preach well at all, in fact he is boring… but he never missses a visit!”
“They (Church members) will forgive a whole lot of bad preaching if you love them” (Said to me by a pastor. There is no excuse for “bad preaching!”).
“Pastor… people don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care” (Said by a deacon to a pastor friend).
When a pastor really, deeply, and genuinely loves God’s people he WILL faithfully do what is BEST for them (Acts 6:4). The best thing a pastor can do for God’s people is deliver God’s Word and disciple them faithfully… and pray for them regularly. On a 40 hr/week template, that would mean 30 hours devoted to those things and 10 devoted to everything else (And I don’t know a pastor who just serves 40 hours a week). But sadly too many pastors spend their time in reverse order.
Pastors are missing it and so are churches that either allow “bad preaching” or require of the pastor what they ought to be doing.
More tomorrow… God willing.