Sunday, November 10, 2013

Desire a Noble Task!

"The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task." (1 Tim. 3:1, ESV)

A note I recently sent to a dear friend who has worked in parachurch ministry for many years:

Dear ____,

Thank you (and _____) for your encouraging emails.  It’s amazing to me that in the middle of the busyness of your work in _____ you find time to pray for us, much less write notes!  

Have you ever prayed about the idea of serving as a pastor?  I know that would be a major change from the kind of ministry you are involved in now, but maybe not so big a change as it would seem.  Your work already is primarily shepherding and discipling people.  And you have a shepherd’s heart.  With pastoring, you shepherd fewer people but you get to shepherd a larger variety of people.  You also get to disciple them in all aspects of their spiritual development (at least, if you take the task of pastoring seriously, as I know you would) rather than the more limited scope that parachurch work gives you.  Parachurch work seems more efficient and focused (at least, that is how it felt to me for the years I was with VOM) but church work feels more real and holistic.  It is sort of like the difference between being a schoolteacher and being a parent.  In pastoring there is also the sobering but strangely joyous knowledge that you are serving the primary organization that the Lord established to continue and advance His work until His return.  (Not that parachurch work is at all wrong, but there is not a direct establishment of it in Scripture, while there clearly is for the church.)

I don’t say all this as “a word from the Lord” but just something that came to mind while I was thanking Him for you. 

In Jesus’ love,


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