Larry Kelchner, Pastor of Pastoral Care
Some of us have been called to lead but not replace the members. Hebrews 5:1 (NIV) says “Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.”
I believe when God inspired the writing of Scripture, there was an economy of words. In other words, I think every word was chosen carefully and matters. So, why does God make it a point to say that the priest is “selected from among the people?”
Here is my best conjecture. I think he is reminding us that those who serve in ministry are simply every day, ordinary, flawed, human beings that God happened to tap on the shoulder. As pastors, we are not a different class of people. We are not better than or superior to those we serve. We are selected out from among the people. Healthy leaders hold the belief of being “selected”. We have a calling. God indeed has tapped us on the shoulder and chosen us to serve Him in ministry. That is an incredible privilege. But we also hold the belief that our selection is a calling of the ordinary. My mom use to say there are no big “I’s” or little “U’s” in God’s eyes. We are all called in one way or another to serve.
Richard Baxter the famous English Puritan church leader, poet, hymn-writer and theologian said this: “The whole cause of our ministry must also be carried on in a tender love for our people. We must let them see that nothing pleases us more than what profits them. We should show them that what does them good does us good also. We should feel that nothing troubles us more than what hurts them.”
As leaders and shepherds we do not supplant the work and responsibilities of the layperson nor can we say that one task is more important than another. Jesus said even a cup of water offered in my name will be rewarded. We are all called to a loving, giving and nurturing ministry. This is the body of Christ as it was designed in action and we do our best to replicate a healthy body. Each person in our Church family is called, wanted and needed.
Join with me as we grow together and actively love each member of our church family, the body of Christ. Let’s enjoy this walk together as we partner in God’s vineyard to more fully develop our nurturing community.