The Lord’s preachers are human (believe it or not) just as much as any of us. They come from all areas and levels of society, but mostly from homes poor in material wealth. They come in all sizes – tall, short, fat, skinny, and in between. But they are all of the male sex.
Most people do not care whether they exist or not; that is, until they get in trouble. Then they ask, “Where is that preacher, what’s his name?” Then the first question they ask the preacher is, “Why in the world did God let this happen to me?”
But, in fact, God’s preachers are not hard to find, for they are constantly being told by a great many people, “You get in my hair, preacher”, or, “You get under my skin”, and that is about as close as you can get to a person.
The Lord’s preachers are required to have the wisdom of Solomon; the disposition of a lamb; the swiftness of an eagle. But when he makes a mistake, he is called an ignoramus. If he unapologetically preaches the truth of God’s word, he is accused of being hard-hearted, or inconsiderate. And if he is not promptly at the scene of every church related emergency, some of the members will say, “He is lazy”.
In the eyes of a great many people, the Lord’s preacher is a bogey-man who spends most of his time talking about the place “down there”.
While the great majority of secular employees get paid vacations, holidays, and a host of other job benefits, and rightly so, the Lord’s preacher is on call twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year, and his job benefits, other than the meager salary, are few or none. He has no pastor, nor labor union to take his grievance to.
Each church member knows, or should know that God’s preacher has but one mission in life, and that is to reprove sin, first in himself, and then in whomsoever it is seen. He is considered a dedicated man, but, he should keep quiet about the “little sins”, “immodest dress”, or “colored jesting”, and, oh yes, why does he criticize other churches?
If God’s preacher drives a big car, he is materially minded. If he drives a little car, he is not concerned in bringing people to church. He is expected to be the first and the last person at the church building, no matter what kind of car he drives.
He must be at all times ready to meet the public, and represent the church. If his old faithful suit begins to show wear from the many drops of pulpit sweat, he is undignified. Yet, some members keep telling him, “Don’t you forget, we are giving you your living”.
No matter how sour the grapes, he must ever be an extrovert, which is sometimes most difficult. But, faith in God has made an unceasing optimist of him and he knows the rain which comes into his life falls from the cloud of God’s merciful and beneficent providence which abides upon him.
Soldiers get medals for bravery. Industry gives promotions and certificates of merit for jobs well done. Lodges bestow accolades upon their worthies. The entertainment world has their outstanding artists whom they award with trophies. But none can compare with the reward that the Lord’s preacher will receive when he faces his God and hears Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”.
The Lord’s preacher knows that in order to become President of the United States, he would have to take a big demotion. The Lord’s preacher may, in old age retire from the pastorate, but he will never cease to preach, for there is no discharge from that high and lofty calling.
“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” (I Timothy 3:1)
No matter the heartaches connected with a God given ministry, there is no better, or a more soul edifying work.