Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This last Sunday was a time of Q and A and I have to admit that, doing something like that is much harder for me than preaching! It is one thing standing in front of people and walking through scripture and it is another standing before people and letting them heart your heart and passion. So after a weekend of intensity, there are times I need to be reminded why I do what I do. Like everyone else, I am bombarded with many different mailing lists, however, today, one reached out and grabbed me and I thought that I would share it with you. A fellow pastor named David Foster is the author (Edited a little bit my moi), but it rang true with me, so here it is…

So here are the reasons why I love being a pastor:

1. It’s my calling. It’s what God called me to do. I know deep down in my bones this is what I was made for. If you don’t have a calling, you may never understand why we often say we can’t walk away from the ministry. That would be to live in open defiance to God. And that’s not something we can do.

2. I love the gospel. It’s changed my life. I’ve lived it many decades and it’s still as powerful, still as sweet as it ever has been. Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so still moves me ever more as I get deeper into it.

3. I love people. I love being around people who come together with the same purpose, same heart, organized around a great mission to accomplish something really great for God and good for people.

4. I’m a leader. I was born that way. I’ve also been working hard to be made that way. I love leading people, influencing people to become more together than we ever could become separately. I have been called a lion! Interesting...not sure if that was an insult or a compliment.
But, I see it as a compliment as the first word picture that jumped into my mind was from a scene from Narnia where you see Edmund and Aslan having a conversation. There was power undercontrol and gentleness working together.

5. I love pastors. I love being around them. The majority are loving, good, committed people; smart, fully-engaged, learners, leaders who love God and want to make a difference in the world.

6. I love what happens when a person is converted as a follower of Jesus Christ. I love seeing life change. I love seeing marriages being put back together. I love seeing people be set free from addictions and sinful habits that are destroying their lives, into a lifestyle of love, freedom, and joy.

7. I love being part of something that redeems culture in the world in which I live. I love being a part of a movement that knows no geographic or cultural barrier; that like water, finds its way into every crease and crevice of humanity.

8. I love being a pastor in leadership and ministry because it forces me to engage the Scripture in a way that transforms my life. I’ve never had a problem in the false dichotomy between reading and studying the Scripture for my own personal improvement, or reading and studying to teach. I can’t divide the two. I have to teach out of the overflow of what’s going on in my life as I engage the full scope of Scripture.

9. I love the Bible: not the pages, not the ink, not the leather; but the words, the ideas, the concepts that teach me that I serve a great God.

10. I do this because I believe that the gospel is the only hope of the world, that when church is done right, it is absolutely amazing.

11. I continue to do this because I accept the fact that the church of Jesus Christ can at one moment be an amazing and healthy, loving, growing environment, and in another can be a very toxic, destructive place. How could we expect anything different when we get broken people coming together confessing the reality of their own sin and brokenness? There are bound to be sharp edges among us.

12. I do this because I believe in advancing the good. The best way I can do that is promoting the redemptive mission of the gospel.

13. I do this because it is the best way I can spend my life. I’ve got to do something. I might as well be doing something that matters for eternity.

14. I love pushing myself to greater understanding and innovative ways of redeeming culture.

15. I love being around people who don’t get it, who struggle, who have questions, but are hungry and are open. I love presenting the gospel to them knowing it’s not my job to convert them.

16. I am in this work because I’m a seeker of truth. I love the truth. I embrace both mystery and certainty all at the same time. I do believe that Jesus is the answer, but not all the answers are available to me right now in the state I’m in.

17. I do this because I love being a part of a worldwide movement that has indeed changed the world and it continues to change it. It is not bound by lines on a map, or by race, creed, or color.

These are some of the reasons I do what I do. How about you? What motivates you?


Anonymous said...

Just as Gideon and Moses argued with God about his calling to them, did you argue with God, or how often do you argue?

How often were you filled with doubt if at all?

When you were starting this church, were you like Nehemiah and sometimes overwhelmed by the size of the task?

SoulPastor said...

WOW, loaded questions....
So, at the risk of being transparent and having those reading this static medium, wrongly interpret what I am saying....here it goes...

RE: Arguing with GOD...the last thing I ever wanted to do was to be a pastor. I had an experience whereby I clearly felt the call of GOD on my life to pastor. (wasn't my first choice at the time)I feel that for me, I have no other option to do what I feel GOD has called me to do.

Also, arguing implies a two way discussion, and I can't really say that GOD and I were having a go...when I call out (wanting to argue) He tends to be silent and silence comes. Try arguing with that!!!!

I am more comfortable with the doubt question then the arguing one. As for doubt...many times. In every area of ministry I have had doubts regards many different issues and circumstances. Even before I get up before the people on Sundays...I battle with what is about to be said...for numerous reasons. Doubt is something that is a constant attack that many people go through. Are we good enough, smart enough, will people respond to the voice of GOD and the list goes on. Everything that is done and said must be committed to prayer and by faith I move forward... I have to work through those negative feelings and trust that GOD is leading me...

As for the overwhelmed question... EVERYDAY! Seriously, everyday...when we started Soul, I never thought that it would grow as fast as it did...so with that comes many different overwhelming issues. Not too mention when one begins to get involved in people's lives, it gets messy. Many times I am overwhelmed with the loads that people carry and can only ask GOD why did he place me here?

It all comes back to me asking GOD for strength, wisdom, and discernment and trusting that He is guiding us....

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your transparent response.

I heard a quote once that "Positive Christian leader's move out even when their knees are shaking - because they've been kneeling on those shaking knees."

Doubt is truly a common attack, but you are merely God's vessel so don't doubt him to use you and get HIS message across.

"but Jesus immediately said to them: Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." (Matthew 14:27) Courage is a gift from God.

People need strong Godly leaders today and for that reason alone you must carry on.

I leave you with Is 43:1-5 "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God...
You are precious and honored in my sight...
Do no be afraid, for I am with you."