A Pastor’s Weight and a Church’s Glory

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.

And badly.

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.

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About Danny Slavich

I am a Christian husband, father, pastor, and poet. I lead Pembroke Road Baptist Church a multi-cultural, multi-generational church in urban South Florida.
This entry was posted in Church, Community, Crossing, Education, Ministry. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Pastor’s Weight and a Church’s Glory

  1. Laura Slavich says:

    Thank you for being sensitive to the needs of those in our church, and reminding others to be sensitive as well. Your post is a good reminder to keep those who come to our church in our prayers. May God continually keep us mindful of the power of His Word to bring hope and change in the lives of hurting people, and may we be sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in the hearts of those God is calling to Himself, be it through rejoicing or trial.

    …comments from someone who has a B.A. in Psychology and a M.A. in Christian Counseling 😉

  2. dad says:

    All the education in the world can’t prepare somebody to care about people’s needs. You do. I’m sure there are many scholars who can “parse” with the best of them, but have no compassion. With the right heart, a solid understanding of what God has “dictated” to those who penned the Scriptures is invaluable as you minister to those needs. Studies do no good without allowing God’s Spirit to (continue to) change your heart (not that yours is in any greater need of change than others.) All that to remember that He, indeed, has done a great work; and will be faithful to complete it. (In whatever language you’d like.)
    🙂

    The value of your academic pursuits are only as good as the spiritual foundation upon which your life is constructed. Your strong love for the Lord allows the Holy Spirit free reign as He continues to “form Christ in you.” Couple that with your (Spirit-empowered) diligence and the possibilities are without limit!

    Isn’t it neat to serve a God worthy of study? Think about it; what can scholarship do for a heart in love with the Creator but to draw it closer? The deeper you dig, the more you know Him. The more you know Him, the more you appreciate Him. Many things in this life fail under close scrutiny. Our Lord does not!

    It is not easy to explain how reading your blog makes me feel.

    My only question for you is this:
    Is pride a sin when you are proud of somebody else?

    I love you, Danny.

  3. dslavich says:

    Thanks Dad.

    You made me cry.

    Love,
    Danny

  4. Lee says:

    You guys are making it hard to see when I read your posts…

    Jeff, your post brought to mind Spurgeon’s sermon “The Immutability of God” where his text is “I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”—Malachi 3:6 It’s actually a very comforting sermon.

    He opens by stating that “…the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.”

    And then shortly after that: “And, whilst humbling and expanding, this subject is eminently consolatary. Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound; in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief; and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a balsam for every sore. Would you lose your sorrows? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated.”

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