ME

A Pastor’s Concern

I remember my first youth camp as a youth pastor.  I had taken about 10 kids to camp and they were driving me insane with their whining, pranking, and all-around teenage antics.  I remember walking through the snow one evening on the way to a chapel (a brief respite without the kids around) and I was complaining to God about how much I was struggling with “those” kids.  As I was complaining about a certain kid, (I can still see his face and even where I was as I was complaining to God) in an instant God opened up my eyes and heart and gave me a glimpse of how much He loved those kids.  I was overcome with emotion and fell to my knees in the snow and started weeping for them.  Ever since that day I have had a deep love for the people God has called me to shepherd.  This is actually a double-edged sword – to love deeply means that you can be hurt deeply – God knows I have experienced that way too many times to care to admit to. The thing that keeps you going is that you choose to not let it make you angry and bitter and you choose to allow the love of God for those people to continue to flow through you.

 

All that to say that when you love deeply you have deep concerns for the ones you love.  Here is how Paul says it…

  • 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 (NLT2)And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.  They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power.  When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him. 

 

I care deeply for the people I shepherd – whether they believe it or not.  Whether I am physically present or not.  I suffer with you and anguish with you.  I have cried for you and contended for you.  I pray that God would provide you rest and refreshing.  I pray for showers of blessings spiritually and materially on you.  I pray that you will experience His best life for you.

 

The crazy thing is that when I pray those things for you and God blesses you, a lot of times it causes you to move away from God and His family.  You get so busy with the blessings you neglect the God who made it all possible, and you don’t have time for the family and shepherd who has covered you and cared for you – even from a distance.  A lot of times people say that I am not there for them but the truth is they are in my thoughts and prayers as I contend for them.  

 

A pastor’s concern is always for the well-being of the people he shepherds, and it has not been any different for me.  To all those I have shepherded over the last 30 years (and they are in the thousands) and continue to shepherd, I love you and pray God’s richest blessings and favor over your lives.  May you prosper and be in good health even as your soul prospers.  May you be the first and not the last, head and not the tail.  May He cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace. May He bless your goings and comings and may the communion and fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest and abide upon you both now and forever.