As I like to do on Fridays, this post is especially for my fellow pastors.
I have become [the church’s] servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the Word of God in its fullness. (Colossians 1:25)
Let’s be honest: What pastor wouldn’t say he/she wants to “serve” the church?
But look at Paul’s definition of a servant of the church:
- Rejoicing in that suffering
- Proclaiming the gospel
- Admonishing the saints
- Teaching with all wisdom
- Maintaining a passion for everyone’s perfection
That’s quite a list!
Paul also says, “I want you to know how much I am struggling for you” (2:1). The word here and in 1:29 come from the same root word meaning:
A contest (whether sports or a courtroom trial) in which there is a large audience, and in which one contestant is representing a larger group.
It’s like an Olympic athlete competing for his country, or an attorney speaking on behalf of her clients.
Then Paul adds, “I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments” (2:4). In other words, actions speak louder than words. As Theodore Roosevelt famously said—
It is not the critic who counts; nor the many who point out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly… who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat.
Pastor, stay in the arena!
Don’t walk away from the struggles!
Persevere through the difficulties!
People are watching. People God has commissioned you to serve the church. You represent the body of Christ, so stay in the fight!
I’m praying for you!