As the voice of experience, I’ve often wondered if God does not choose certain people to be in the pastorate because they need to be. It’s for their own good. What I mean is, they would not be as involved in the lives of others or spending as much time in the Bible unless they had to.
I thought of this when I read Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians,
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
There we are: foolish…weak…low…despised. While you won’t see such terms on any resume, you want them in your candidate. At least you want him to realize they apply. The thing is, pastors, like other church members, struggle with things like conceit, laziness, and intellectual snobbery. But what separates us from others is that our vocation prevents us from giving into them. At least publicly. We can’t stay home even if we want to.
In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis uses a military analogy to describe going to church. He writes,
“Enemy-occupied territory — that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery.”1
Oh, so that’s what’s going on! Good thing I was drafted and not left to sign up on my own.
“And say to Archippus, ‘See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.’”- Colossians 4:17.
- C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1952), 51.