Faith, Hope, & Love

Life, faith, surviving depression, Soulmates, relationships

Pastor Appreciation Month: But do we really appreciate all they do for us?

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Aside from being a parent, being a pastor is the most difficult job anyone can have.  It means being on call for all our crises 24/7, having a ready shoulder to cry on, having a message straight from God to build us up or provide unwanted discipline when necessary, teaching us how to be closer to the Lord,  preparing us for meeting our Creator and everything in between.  Yet, many pastors are hog-tied to what their congregations think is how they should go, they get corrected when they present something different than the status quo, they get in trouble for bringing new believers into our congregations when the new believers don’t measure up to our preconceived ideas of a believer. Has anyone really asked their pastors where they believe God wants to take their congregations?  Are we binding them to the ritual and religion of our denominations or are we allowing our pastors to bring our congregations into the present?

Like I said last week, America wants God back in our country; so that, we can again proudly say that the United States is “One Nation Under God.” How can we as believers say that when we don’t allow the Holy Spirit free reign in the lives of our pastors, not to mention ourselves?   The other thing I mentioned last week was that we need to go back to the basics of what Jesus taught the disciples.

Jesus told his disciples to go out and make disciples of all nations – even, to the end of the world.  We have a hymn that we sing, “Come Just As You Are,” but we ignore the meaning.  Every person is unique, and has their own perspective of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, God uses this uniqueness to touch others with the same perspective.  I am not saying that we should allow license to reign with our freedom; all children need boundaries.  I am saying that we need to celebrate uniqueness in each other and learn to welcome everyone into the Family of God.

I have had several opportunities to see our lack of love and acceptance over the years and it is embarrassing.  One time in particular, I was having lunch with a friend; and, a guy came into the restaurant, who definitely had his own style, and all my friend could do is laugh and criticize this beautiful man living in a freedom that he didn’t have.  And how about the homeless individual who dares to enter our church on Sunday morning wearing the only thing he/she has.  Does anyone welcome them with a hug of love? Not likely.  What about the single mom struggling with raising her children and has voiced her wish for stand-in fathers for their children – especially, their sons. I can say that for the most part that wish goes unfulfilled more than you think.

So, how does this all tie in to unbinding our pastors, and allowing the Spirit free reign in our churches?  First, if we allow our pastors to call us on our unlovingness – we need to get back to Jesus’ original design for His church to be a place of love and acceptance for everyone. Second, we get back to truly worshipping in Spirit and Truth, the kind of praise and worship Jesus said God wants.  Lastly, we become partners and fellow ministers with our pastors – Giving Them A Breather to renew their strength.

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