Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 1 Peter 5:2
From the time I was a young girl, I knew God had called me to be a pastor. Even then, I didn’t find it unconventional for a girl to assume a role usually appointed to men. It just felt natural. I would carefully place all of my stuffed animals in rows, lead praise and worship, and then preach to them. Then, when I was in the third grade, my class was instructed to come dressed as what we wanted to be when we grew up for Career Day. Me? I wore a pinstriped dress and carried my Bible. Because, I was going to be a pastor.
I have since learned that there is a lot more to ministry than standing in front of people and unpacking a message that God has worked inside of me. Which, ain’t no walk in the park, I gotta tell ya. Mucho respect for my dad who does it every week with a delivery, anointing, and passion that I long for. ‘Cause, dang that’s hard.
Back to the point.
Ministry is taking care of the people that God puts into your life. It’s stepping outside of your own need, your own want, and investing yourself in others. It means that some nights, you go to bed, and you are mentally, emotionally, and physically spent. It means you don’t let that exhaustion or sacrifice of personal time make you bitter. “Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly.”
And, the best way to keep your heart and mind in check is to remember why you are doing it. It’s not just for them. It’s not just for you. But, it’s because, you are eager to serve God.
Sometimes, I need to be reminded of the why. Sometimes, we all need to be reminded of the why…whether we are pastors or not.
You might be a teacher in a classroom dreading the return of August. Dear Teacher, you are going to change some student’s life and tell her she has a gift to write. Thank you, Mrs. Simonton.
You might be a public service man or woman putting in a lot of hours for little pay. Dear Public Servants, thank you for helping our tornado victims recover from terrible devastation and restoring hope to them.
You might be a nurse working crappy hours on a night shift. Dear Wendi, thank you for taking such good care of me, and setting my mind (and pain) at ease. You make every single one of your patients feel loved.
You might be a mother staying home with your children every single day. Thank you, mothers. You are raising world changers.
Whatever you do, it’s so important to always remember the why.
I remembered my why last night. To serve Him. Not because I love Him. But because, He lavishes His love on me.