Father Pastors

"For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory."
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
After pastoring churches and studying them personally for decades, I can tell you that one of the biggest dangers to a congregation is having a pastor who, when all is said and done, is really in ministry to use people and gratify himself. That is a tough statement for someone to have to make about pastors, but since I have battled with this challenge in my own ministry, I can talk about it. It also seems to be on Paul’s mind in this section of 1 Thessalonians. This is what Paul brings a warning about in chapter 2:5 – 6, and he takes pains to set himself apart from some of the ego driven pastors that his people had had some sad experience with. Paul then contrasts this kind of selfish pastor with two metaphors, or word pictures, of a good pastor: a tender nourishing mother 2:7 and a concerned father: 2:11-12. Both of these roles should be lived out by every pastor in a desire to see every person in a church "walk in a manner worthy of God". The goal is God's gratification, not the pastor’s gratification or glory. May God help every Pastor preaching today to live out this calling.
Chief Shepherd, please help every one of Your Undershepherds, the Pastors of churches worldwide, to constantly and seriously bring their motives for ministry under Your gaze and Your guidance. We need more godly Pastors than ever before, and You know how to raise them up. For the blessing of Your churches I pray. Amen

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