Some of the most undervalued people in our world, but a group very close to my heart – here are 5 reasons I love pastors and Christian leaders.
I am quite actively involved in my local church. I get a lot of comments about it, usually from different people who see me serving in a lot of different areas. “Oh, you’re here too!”. Yep! Your friendly Lego Hair representative popping up all over the place. It’s because I’m a big believer in the message of the church and in the impact it has on people’s lives.
Tonight I was talking with a great couple that oversee one of the services I help out at, and I was telling them 7 reasons why I love them and why they’re great. In truth, Christian leaders are one of the biggest passion areas of my life. I have so much time for them – in fact, you’ll find most of my spare time is spent investing in people in those sorts of positions or roles, or just even listening to them. I don’t even see it as something that’s “nice to do” – for me, it’s a reason why I’m alive, and I don’t know of many better ways to spend my time. I could (and actually probably do) spend all my spare time celebrating those people who invest so much into others. I was even praying tonight, “Just give me pastors”. I love them so much.
So I thought, it’s been a while, why not share one of the areas of my life that is closest to my heart, and write about why I love these people so much?
So if you’re involved in Christian leadership at any level – senior pastor, service pastor, lay pastor, small group leader, usher or deacon, wherever you find your fit – this one is for you. Here are 5 reasons I love pastors and Christian leaders… among many, many more.
They aren’t just talking about changing the world
So many people talk about wanting to change the world. “One day, I want to help people”. “Soon, I’ll be putting into others”. “I hope to one day be able to blah blah blah”.
Unfortunately so many of these people are only just talking about it. 10 years later, they’re still talking about that one day.
But the people actively involved in leadership today? Man, they’re not just talking about it. They’ve recognized a need in the world, and they’re not just sitting there daydreaming about it or blowing smoke or “praying about it but really actually not praying about it and definitely not taking any action” – they’ve taken their calling head on and are actually changing the world today.
For me, if I can do absolutely anything to further the purposes of someone who is actively changing the world today, I want to be right there to be able to do it. I absolutely admire and appreciate these people who aren’t just talking about helping others – they’re actually doing it.
Turning outcasts into mighty men and women
This is one I really see in the couple I talked to tonight. I was reminded of a verse I read earlier this week in 1 Samuel 22:2 where it talks about David running away from King Saul. David had been anointed as the next king of Israel, destined for greatness, and he was hiding away in the wilderness to preserve his life from a man full of envy. I love what it says happened in the cave of Adullam:
And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them.
Ah man. Beautiful. Isn’t this the ultimate picture of what Christian leadership is all about?
David was going to be the king one day. He could’ve thrown his hands up when these rejects came up to him, but David instead welcomed them in and became their leader. The amazing thing is that years later when David was now king, some of these men he met in the cave became part of his mighty men – the most respected warriors and military minds in Israel.
That’s why I love Christian leaders. Because they take people who everyone else has written off or who have been discouraged or defeated by life, and recognize just how amazing they are. Not only that, they draw them out of themselves, beyond their personal pain or lack of vision, and turn them into mighty influencers and leaders in their own right.
Thank you so much for doing that. Sometimes you’re the only one who believes in that person.
Serving with relatively low levels of celebration
Many negative things have been said about those who take the office of a pastor or are involved in a public ministry of any kind. There are all sorts of questions about motive or use of money and all the rest of it. There are so many negative comments about their personal motivation and the quality with which the message is delivered. Everyone has an opinion about what they have just heard.
All the while, many pastors and leaders go uncelebrated or undervalued.
And yet they still serve others.
You are my hero. Don’t give up. What an amazing thing you’re doing for others.
Speaking of which…
Commitment to the well being of others
Even just this reality alone is worth it all.
What grieves me sometimes is just how little a leader is appreciated. I’m always reminded of a story in the New Testament where Jesus completely heals 10 lepers. And yet what’s the saddest thing is only one come backs to say thank you. He just completely healed them! Their lives would never be the same! And yet they didn’t even tell the person who did it how appreciated it was.
Having talked to a lot of different types of leaders in different churches in different leadership roles in different age groups from different cultures, this seems to be quite a common experience for many people in leadership. Sometimes, some leaders don’t even have one person saying thank you – just a whole bunch of people complaining or grieving them.
I’ve made it one of my missions in life to always be the one who comes back to say thank you. Why don’t you join me in doing the same for those who selflessly pursue our well being?
A heart for God
This is a beautiful thing. When someone really loves God, I literally can’t look away. I love seeing people who genuinely love God. Not just “oh yeah God’s cool and we get along and stuff”, but people who recognize how important He is in their lives and in the lives of those around them.
Thank you for showing us who He is.
The greatest church leaders are the ones who know the heart of the One they are telling others about.
One of my housemates tonight after I told him I was going to write about this made a comment about how this also fits the sort of girls I’ve gone for in the past. He’s not wrong. In truth, not even on a romantic level but just as a core of who I am, I absolutely love leaders, and it affects all my decisions – how I spend my money and my time especially. I love those who lay down their lives for others. I believe they deserve such great investment because they make such a great investment in others.
And so if you’re in the boat of feeling unappreciated or looked over, I want you to know someone believes in you, someone is championing you on, someone is grateful that you’re alive, and someone truly believes in the call on your life.
Keep going, my friend. You are literally changing the world.
How about you? What’s your experience of Christian leaders? What are some reasons you love the leaders in your life? Don’t forget to share this post with someone who you really appreciate.