I've got a hunch that some people think that the pastor has "arrived." You know, he's like a spiritual Clark Kent. Sure, he looks mild mannered but we all know that under the vanilla exterior there's a spiritual Man of Steel lurking on the inside.
I'm here to dispel that myth!
The guy standing on the stage is not the Teacher's pet. He is not perfect. And he is not God's answers to all your problems. That would be Jesus!
I'm not letting myself off the hook by saying this!
My calling is a high one. I'm actually charged by God to "set an example for the believers" (1 Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:7; Hebrews 13:7) and I will give an account to God for the work I have done watching over His flock (Hebrews 13:7).
But God did not call me to this because I had it altogether. He did not give me the role because I was a few rungs higher on the ladder of grace (there is no ladder). God called me--as he does all his shepherds--despite myself. In fact, I know why God decided to use me to do what I do. He said, "How am I going to keep the boy recognizing the truth of my Word, dependent on my Spirit, and walking on the straight and narrow rather than wallowing in the ditch on the side of the road? I know, I will make him a pastor!"
Lately, this pastor has been getting "pastored" (read that carefully: "pastored" not "plastered"). What I mean is that God has been placing people in my life to help me grow. The Lord does this all the time, but two incidents stand out.
The first came from a new friend in the faith -- a spiritual newbie -- who was reading C.S. Lewis and J.I. Packer of all people. That's good company to keep. This is what he shared with me:
"Wait on the Lord" is a constant refrain in the Psalms, and it is a necessary word, for God often keeps us waiting. He is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future than we need for action in the present, or to guide us more than one step at a time. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God. When action is needed, light will come.
I needed that reminder. Then just last week a fellow pastor -- a very mature man in the faith -- reminded me of these words from Paul:
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 ESV
He reminded me that the hero of the story is not spelled T-O-M-M-Y but J-E-S-U-S. I needed that reminder too!
What's the point?
The point is that the pastor is just like everyone else -- he needs brothers and sisters speaking the truth of the Word of God into his life. He needs what Paul charges all of us to do:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16 ESV
You get the picture, right? It's our job to encourage each other in the faith and we do it with the Word of God, with singing, and with thankfulness in our hearts.
You don't have to wait for a pastor to do this. So what are you waiting for? The job of "pastoring" each other with the Word of God belongs to all of us. Who is that person God wants you to encourage with the Word of God today?
Remember The 40 Days Of Prayer Adventure
Many of you are joining Spanish River Church on an exciting adventure we're calling, 40 Days of Prayer. Today we highlighting our church planting friends and partners, Adam & Kristen Flynt in Jacksonville, FL. Click here or scan the QR code below to find out more and to pray.
 J.I. Packer, Knowing God. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 1973. Page 217.