There are a lot of neat reasons for being a pastor. There are also things about it that should send any sane person running for the hills.
I think that one of our greatest responsibilities is speaking in God’s name.
Got your attention yet?
Think about it. A pastor functions as many things. We are teachers, evangelists, managers, leaders, councilors, encouragers, and the list can go on. But, when you step into the pulpit on Sunday morning, people aren’t there to hear the best well thought out opinion concerning scripture. People want God to speak into their lives. They want a meaningful experience with the Almighty.
Since those of us in Baptist life have relegated the Eucharist to a quarterly experience for the most part, we leave the congregation wit two options. They can either meet God in the music or the spoken word.
Here’s a hint. They came to hear God’s voice, not yours, not mine, not anyone else around them.
I find that terrifying!
Does that very idea not make you want to tinkle, just a little bit?
Well, it does to me. It is very sobering, to say the least.
I’m less apt to say that something I’m saying is of God than not. At times though, I think that I short change God and his people when I do that.
I’m not even talking about preaching either!
There have been a couple of things in recent history that I believe were of God after reflecting upon them. One was a men’s retreat, and the other was an opportunity to finance a school field trip. One was a prayed over, thought out idea that had to go before our church council.
It didn’t make it out of that meeting.
The second was put before the committee that had jurisdiction over distribution of funds. It fell by the wayside for two reasons. First, we would have had to go into reserve funds to do it, since we are running in the red. Secondly, the committee thought that the amount of the funds needed was large enough to necessitate a vote during a regular or special called business meeting ($500). Even a special called business meeting would have put the vote about a week and a half out. I deemed this too far out to be effective.
Please understand, I’m not complaining about the council or committee. They did what they are designed to do, be gatekeepers. I fault myself, not them.
I could have fought for the ideas. I could have invoked God’s name, pulled out then G Card. But, I’m afraid to. I’m afraid of being wrong. I’m afraid of not being prayed up, read up, or filled up to discern God’s will correctly. I’m also afraid of abusing it, of using it intentionally to manipulate then situation.
It is no small thing, to speak in God’s name.
Lord, help me to speak the words you want me to speak. Don’t let me abuse the privilege of being your mouthpiece. Keep my ego in check. Help me to be your obedient servant. Amen.
When was the last time you were called of God to do, or say something.