The office of pastor carries with it a number of joys and sorrows that are not typically experienced in any other walk of life. This is uniquely seen in the regular preaching two or three times each week to the same people. This sustained ministry of the Word forces the minister to live with the results of his ministry. In other words, he has to live among those he has taught.
The sorrow comes when warnings are proclaimed from Scripture but not heeded by the congregation. Sometimes his counsel or a message is even despised, and some people ultimately leave the church over it. The pastor has no option but to watch the out come and offer to help pick up the broken pieces if their life choice doesn’t work out. What makes this so saddening is the fact that many personal, family, and church problems are preventable if we will simply pray and seek to mold our lives to Scripture.
The joy comes from delivering God’s Word on a regular basis and then hearing someone tell of how that teaching or counsel helped them. On any given Sunday even the worst of preachers are told “that was a good message” or “great sermon today” by many good folks in the church. Real lasting joy never comes from preaching a good message or getting a lot of compliments. It comes from seeing lives changed by God’s Word.
Let me explain, Jeremiah was an excellent preacher and faithful to declare all that God had told him. He even acted it out and painted a crystal clear picture for Israel. But no one responded to God’s commands. They hated him and he wanted to quit. You all know the story, he couldn’t stop, the Word was in his heart and it was like a fire in his bones. So he went on preaching but remained weary and sad.
With out giving you all the details, I’ll just say, I’ve carried a lot of this kind of sorrow of late. But it is not all doom and gloom. I have personally heard of quite a few accounts lately where a sermon was brought to someone’s mind in a time of need. Actions were altered, eyes were opened, troubles were avoided, and answers were found. In other words, God is changing lives at Lee Creek. That has been a wonderful source of encouragement to me. I praise God for it and pray that it will continue.