I love and appreciate pastors–always have, always will.
My family loved our pastors. One of my father’s favorite pastors was John Bob Riddle, a man who was my pastor about the time of my birth. He only stayed in Brantley for a few years but my dad never forgot him. Anytime John Bob Riddle was in our vicinity, we traveled to hear him preach and to visit with him for a few minutes.
All of our other pastors were the same way. Some were better pastors and preachers than others but my folks loved and appreciated them all.
Maybe that is part of the reason God called me to preach.
I certainly love and appreciate my fellow pastors–both those who serve with me at my church and those in other churches.
Being a pastor is a difficult job. Years ago Leith Anderson said the three most difficult jobs in America were being a university president (probably with a losing football team), a hospital administrator, and the pastor of a large church. All three of those positions have diverse constituencies. Could you please doctors, nurses, patients, a board, a taxing authority, and the general public? How about students, alumni, and faculty? All of those have different ideas of how a hospital and a university should be run. It’s no different in a church.
But pastors have two assets hospital administrators and university presidents don’t have.
First, presidents and administrators don’t generally have so many of their constituents praying for them. I thank God for those who pray for me regularly. I particularly appreciate those who say, “you’ve been on my mind and I’ve felt a burden to pray for you.”
Second, those other professions don’t have a large group of encouraging people.
Let me tell you about two of my great encouragers. One will write me from time to time simply to encourage me about something or the other. He will close it by wishing for me a “great day in pastor land.” I don’t know why but I smile every time I read about “pastor land.” People like him make “pastor land” a good place.
Another friend will simply write about something going on in her life or in response to one of my blogs. Recently, she ended it by saying, “Have a wonderful, stress filled week.” She probably meant a “stress free week,” but I liked it the way she wrote. To me it was her way of acknowledging that every week will be filled with the stress of decisions and preparation and the burdens of hurting people.
I have other friends who never forget a birthday or a difficult anniversary.
They all make it nice in Pastor Land.
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