Pastor, Do You Enjoy Pastoring?

Phillips Brooks was a pastor, teacher, and songwriter. These words of his should be read very carefully and thoughtfully by every pastor…

     “I think, again, that it is essential to the preacher’s success that he should thoroughly enjoy his work. I mean in the actual doing of it, and not only in its idea. No man to whom the details of his task are repulsive can do his task well constantly, however full he may be of its spirit. He may make one bold dash at it and carry it over all his disgusts, but he cannot work on at it year after year, day after day. Therefore, count it not merely a perfectly legitimate pleasure, count it an essential element of your power, if you can feel a simple delight in what you have to do as a minister, in the fervor of writing, in the glow of speaking, in standing before men and moving them, in contact with the young. The more thoroughly you enjoy it, the better you will do it all. 

    “This is all true of preaching. Its highest joy is in the great ambition that is set before it, the glorifying of the Lord and the saving of the souls of men. No other joy on earth compares with that. The ministry that does not feel that joy is dead. But in behind that highest joy, beating in humble unison with it, as the healthy body thrills in sympathy with the deep thoughts and pure desires of the mind and soul, the best ministers have always been conscious of another pleasure which belonged to the very doing of the work itself. As we read the lives of all the most effective preachers of the past, or as we meet the men who are powerful preachers of the Word today, we feel how certainly and how deeply the very exercise of their ministry delights them.” (emphasis mine)

Pastor, what unspeakable joy should thrill us to know that God Himself called us to do what we do!!

I know that being in full-time ministry is tough. I know the demands on our time. I know that we are often targets for criticism. But still, this should never diminish our joy in being God’s ministers!

Heavenly Father, I thank You for the calling to be a pastor! Today I pray for pastors who don’t feel the joy they once felt. Holy God, will You reconfirm Your call on their lives. Reassure them that they are doing what they are doing because You called them to do it. And I ask that Your Holy Spirit would reinvigorate them with holy joy. Let the hands that hang low be lifted up in praise! Let mouths that have been tightly shut open wide in holy laughter! Let Your joy be their strength and encouragement. May You be glorified in joy-filled pastors!

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