By Christopher Ash
Pastoral care committees are great, but what if I told you there is something besides care baskets and pastor appreciation speeches that will keep your pastor going year after year?
A pastor’s visits one week included these two. The first was to a home where all was well. Ryan and Steph were prosperous; the home was pleasant; a good car sat on the driveway; the children were being educated in expensive schools; their manners were good; talent abounded.
The second was to a single mum. Nicole had been abandoned some years before by an abusive husband; she was bringing up Dan and Jim, two very difficult boys, alone; and she herself struggled with serious and persistent health troubles.
The pastor went away downcast and discouraged after one visit, thrilled and energised after the other. But which was which?
Pastoral Care and Spiritual Fruit
That pastor was me (although I have changed the names). Which visit cheered me more? I remember well. I came home from the first—where everything was “fine”—deeply depressed; and from the second walking on air. How come?
Ryan and Steph conformed outwardly to Christian beliefs, but showed no sense of deep heart work, no feeling that they really wanted to be wholehearted disciples of Jesus—in a word, no evidence of real repentance and lively faith. But, in the second, although the problems were crushing—and I did feel the pain of them—in Nicole’s heart there was a joy in the Lord Jesus, a quiet determination to walk with him through whatever life had in store, and a gritty and very real trust.
The very best thing you can do for your pastor, and I for mine, is to repent daily of sin and trust afresh daily in Jesus. To be honest, if you and I do this—together with our committed belonging—even if we are terrible at looking after our pastors in other ways, they will probably keep on pastoring year after year.
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Source: Church Leaders