Most of my pastors were either multi-vocational or pastored small, barely full-time churches. Today, I spend most of my time serving that group of pastors. They have greatly influenced my opinion about pastors.
Pastors are amazing people! I am honored to serve multi-vocational pastors (MVPs) and my appreciation for them grows. When I sit with a group of pastors and listen to them talk about what they love, I hear things like “I just love the people that God has given me to shepherd.” Or “I love caring for my church.” Or “I look forward to preaching and worshiping with them.” Sure, there are times when they talk about the challenges they face, but usually, I end these meetings thinking what dedicated and professional men these pastors are. Oklahoma Baptists have the cream of the crop.
Let me share a few examples of why I think MVP pastors are amazing from what I have witnessed from my own MVP pastor.
- He comes to the pulpit prepared to preach a word from God. The Word of God is a deep well, and it is obvious that my pastor brings to his church a fresh word to thirsty souls. Preparing sermons is hard work. Preparing a sermon for each Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening requires many hours of prayer and Bible study. He does it faithfully.
- He is always a phone call away, and everyone has his phone number. This is the way most pastors want it. Yes, people interrupt during resting hours, but he wants to be available whenever there is a crisis.
- He has wisdom to share, no matter the problem. I looked at my pastor’s Bible and found he had verses underlined, highlighted and handwritten notes in the margins. After many years of studying Scriptures, he could share a relevant word from Scripture on any subject.
- Even when criticized, he continues to minister faithfully to his church. I have witnessed my pastor love on others when I knew his heart was hurting over unkind words spoken about him. Many years ago, a deacon met him at the back door after a Sunday morning worship service and shared his unfair opinion about his expectations for the pastor. The pastor listened carefully and handled the man’s anger in a Christ-like way. The next person stopped and said to my pastor, “After listening to how that deacon spoke to you, I now have a greater respect and admiration for you.”
- He shares the Gospel at every opportunity God provides. One day he was driving, and we passed a man walking on the side of the road. He went a little further, turned around and said, “God told me to give him a ride.” He picked him up, the man sat between us in the truck. As we started down the road, my pastor began to share the Good News of Christ with him. In 15 minutes, the man was sharing how he had been praying for someone to stop and tell him about Jesus. It was wonderful to listen to that man pray and trust Christ as his Savior.
I have shared five brief examples about my pastor, but they could be examples of your pastor’s service. Pastors usually are not self-promoters because they are busy promoting Christ, so if you take the time and get to know your pastor, you will love him and appreciate him more than ever.
Next time you see your pastor involved in some aspect of pastoral care, let him know how much you appreciate his service to the Lord.