Typically on Mondays I’ve been trying to write someone specifically theological, but I’m going to stray from that somewhat today.
Last night at our church community group leader’s meeting we took inventory of the people of our church. And it’s obvious–a lot of people are hurting.
Part of what weighed down upon me was the burden a pastor must bear for his people, people who are hurting and looking to him for answers. If I had on my plate what Dustin has on his, man, I might start to cry.
It makes education seem all the more important. I have a friend who’s said to me (a counseling major, not related to my church), “What are you going to do when someone comes to you and wants a divorce. Are you going to parse a Greek verb for them?” Well, probably not, not per se.
But you might use a parsed Greek verb to comfort them. You might say that in Philippians 1:6, the Bible says that God will “epiteleo” the work he has begun in you. You might not even use the Greek, but the concept, the truth conveyed, you could.
Seeing hurting people motivates me to study, to learn and absorb, so that I might be prepared for what God has for me.
Because only God prepares his ministers, and only he gives them success.
But it’s a false dichotomy to say you depend on prayer (or even “practical” wisdom) over theological education. God uses means. Like B.B. Warfield has said (paraphrased) — “Some would say that you gain more in ten minutes on your knees than by ten hours in your books; well why not spend ten hours on your knees, in your books…”
Last night it also struck me: this is what the church is for. It excites me, to see God at work in broken people.
Yesterday, our church baptized two people who found Crossing through the road signs we put out around the east end of Louisville. They got saved there.
To see God using his church for his people’s good, to see him drawing his own unto himself, to him glorifying himself in his servants–that amazes me. And all the hurting people in our church, I know, I trust that God will work, miraculously, in them.
May his name be praised.
Sola Deo Gloria.