I went to a pastor’s fellowship the other day. I looked around the room and noticed how ordinary all these guys looked. No one sparkled with personality, good looks or expensive dress. Not a one dazzled above the rest with charisma or special appeal. They were regular guys, called by a magnificent God to be leaders; spokesmen for His Truth and pillars of their communities. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at them.
They’re ordinary. If pastors were a flavor of ice cream, they’d be, “Vanilla.”
Pastors aren’t men of incredible strength or wisdom. In fact, they often feel quite the opposite. They often feel inadequate and entertain the fearful notion of falling short. But they also know they serve an incredible God who is faithful to give them just enough grace for the task at hand. They have a passion to serve Jesus Christ, but realize without Him, they are doomed to failure.
The pastors I know aren’t overly spiritual. We don’t spend hours in deep prayer or labor endlessly in the Word. Like most people, they struggle with finances, worry about their children, laugh at a clean joke; sleep in on Saturdays and get their feeling hurt from time to time.
The pastors I hang with get stains on our shirts; have bad-hair days, forget anniversaries and call people by their wrong names all the time. They’re capable of feeling angry, overworked and overwhelmed and will occasionally vent to an unsuspecting wife or friend.
Yes, we’re ordinary. We’re vanilla.
But we’re called with a high calling, and we’re passionate about it! Most of us lack the good looks, the athletic prowess or popularity of celebrities, but we are called to speak the Truth. Imagine that- ordinary people chosen to speak for the Creator of the universe! Now, that’s extraordinary!
Pastors don’t mind being regular guys. They work at being invisible. If they strive to be extraordinary, they’re probably not pastors. True pastors step away from greatness and run to service. They feel uncomfortable with accolades, but are quick to give them.
Pastors imitate Jesus. They are His hands to touch the wounded. They are His feet to rescue the helpless. They are His mouthpieces to speak truth to the weary. They are His ears to listen to the cries of the mournful. They are His priests to pray for the lost. They are His anchors to hold steady those tossed by the storms of life.
Yes, all pastors eventually fade away and are ultimately forgotten, but the best thing about being a pastor is representing the One who is never forgotten, Jesus Christ.
Hmm… I’ve suddenly gotten hungry for ice cream. Vanilla, anyone?