This week, I received a letter from a former student thanking me for inspiring her to answer the call to ministry. Her letter was just what I needed to remind me of why we do what we do as pastors.
Our ministry is a gift from God to the church. It is a gift. God continues to call persons to this awesome and holy task. After having been affirmed by the communities from which you came and responded to God's call by offering yourself in leadership as set-apart ministers, ordained or licensed, this is truly a great work!
I just want to offer a word of encouragement to those of you who co-labor with me in this ministry.
We get to do what no other profession is able or equipped to do...be with people at the most vulnerable times of their lives; when they come to the altar committing to follow Jesus, times of baptisms and graduations, hospital stays and times of crisis, celebrations and times of sickness and death. It is the pastor who receives the first call, "come and be present with us." I am honored to play a small part in God's great work.
Sometimes we lose faith, feel burnout, get cynical and jaded. Remind yourself of what brought you into ministry in the first place...you are the channel, the vessel through which the grace of God, the love of Christ and power of the Holy Spirit can be made real to people. This is a great work!
Stevee's letter reminds me the reward of being a pastor far surpasses any frustration I will ever feel in ministry. Thanks Stevee!