Pastors face pressure all the time from people both within and from without their congregation. Christians have varying sets of expectations of pastors, and people with no particular religious affiliation also believe they know what pastors should be doing. In a twist of very-like-a-human irony, people who hate the idea of God also think they know what pastors should be doing. Mostly, not doing what they are currently doing.
This is true in the most normal of years. This has not been the most normal of years. In a state of affairs only the most radical conspiracy theorist could have predicted, we are at a point where the normal gathering of the church on the Lord’s Day is in question. A lot of our neighbors are convinced that going to the grocery story is pretty safe, while going to church will likely kill you and your grandmother. More than a few state governors have made all-wise pronouncements to label cannabis shops and Planned Parenthood clinics as “essential business”, while lumping churches, movie theatres and laser tag in the same, “non-essential” bucket. Thanksgiving was a death trap, while babysitting each other’s kids the next day was not.
This makes a complicated job even more complicated. Pastors strive to follow their call to tend to the souls under their care, watching the wholistic consequences of hyper-focused policies wreak their havoc. Pastors stand both at the prow and the wheel of the ship, simultaneously steering and watching for rocks. Critics tend to sit in the hold waiting for supper.
Pastor, no matter your situation or your ability to physically meet on the Lord’s Day, you are an under-shepherd to the Good Shepherd. Your faithfulness is one of the graces God gives his people, being both servant and tip-of-the-spear at the same time. Your endurance is one of the ways God continues to build a Temple of living stones and prepare his Bride. Your calling is one of the ways the kingdom of God weaves its way through the lives of sinful people and a broken culture.
Take heart. God has not taken his eye off you. He continues to require your endurance, but he has equipped you to do what he has called you to do. And he loves you more than you even think you need.
Pastors stand both at the prow and the wheel of the ship, simultaneously steering and watching for rocks.Tweet