The Ramblings of Rob Prince, a follower of Jesus, husband, dad, lead pastor at Flint Central Church of the Nazarene and author of "Chronic Pain: Finding Hope in the Midst of Suffering"
The Pastors I Appreciate Most, Usually have these Body Parts…
Broad shoulders that can carry the burdens of others. It’s what pastors do. They mourn with those who mourn. Help those they can help. (See Galatians 6:2).
White hair (or white under-the-dye hair or no hair at all), a few wrinkles, and who eventually retire from a lifetime of pastoring. Young pastors are leaving the ministry left and right. Burnout, moral failures, exhaustion, frustrations, finances, you name it— all lead to before-retirement-age exits. Those faithful servants who finish the race are heroes! (see 2 Timothy 4:7)
A toughskin. Pastoring in the social media age with the cowardly behind their computer screens typing half-truths, flat out lies and gossip requires skin tougher than a rhino. It also requires one to remember Jesus’ words to turn the other cheek instead of the more gratifying (but not answered) prayer that the fleas of a thousand camels might infest the offender’s armpits. (see 1 Corinthians 4:13)
Hands with the ability to juggle. Bi-vocational pastors who juggle a secular job (to make ends meet and/or provide health insurance) while pastoring a church are unsung heroes. Forget mega church pastors, bi-vocational pastors are the true clergy “rock stars.” (See 1 Corinthians 4:12)
A backbone to stand firm to those who want to distort the gospel to their whims and ways. These pastors refuse to pander in the pool of popularity or meander in the muck of mediocrity. (See 1 Corinthians 15:58)
Roughknees from praying– especially praying for the unloveable. See the fine folks mention in #3 as examples of those who are difficult to love. It’s harder than you think. (See Matthew 5:44).
Their nose in the Word. Preachers preach from the Bible (you’d think that would be a given, but it’s not). Not politics, not warm fuzzy stories, not moral platitudes, the Bible is where truth is found. (see 2 Timothy 4:2).
A heart for the poor and needy. Not catering to the fanciful whims of the powerful, famous, or wealthy (or powerful, famous and wealthy wannabes), their heart aches for those who have endured injustice, discrimination, poverty and disenfranchisement. (See James 2).
An eye for the hungry, thirsty, lonely, sick, in prison, etc. They’ve seen the needs and actively do something about it. (see Matthew 25:37-40).
Feet willing to go anywhere for Jesus. Across the country or across the street, where He leads they will follow. (Luke 9:57-62).
Ears tuned in to the voice of God. There is so much noise in the world. They refuse to listen to the loudest, angriest and persistent, instead they listen for the still small Voice and respond with obedience. (see 1 Samuel 3:9).
Lips that constantly are bragging on Jesus (not themselves). All glory goes belongs to Jesus. (see Galatians 6:14)
Lungs that breathe hope and help into the discouraged and downtrodden. (see 1 Peter 3:15).
The mind of Christ. In all times, at all times, through all times, it’s being like Jesus. Even when the pastor falls short of this lofty goal, she/he goes back to Jesus for forgiveness, grace and help to move forward in Him once more. (see 1 Corinthians 2:16).