There are many exciting things pastors experience in their work. Pastors get to see the best and worst of life, but in this post I’ll point out some of the more positive.
Obviously, seeing someone become a follower of Christ or baptism of a believer has to rank as a highlight of the pastor’s experience. This is what we are called to do. But that experience isn’t unique to pastors. Every believer, hopefully, gets excited about seeing people’s entry into faith. This is the call of the church – not only pastors.
So, my list of exciting things pastors experience consists of things that might be more unique to the work of pastors. All believers may get excited about these experiences, but to pastors, these are what keep us encouraged. Different pastors will have different answers, which is where the comments section can make this post even better.
Seven exciting things a pastor experiences:
A child who loves church.
Children are the future of the church! Jesus loves the little children – and so should we.
Personally, I love when a little child leads the family to church. When I hear from a parent, “They woke up this morning excited it is Sunday! It thrills me!
I have little to do with the experience our children have a church – this is driven by other staff and volunteers (for whom I am eternally grateful), but when a child loves church, I know the parent is sure to be excited also. And our future as an individual church is brighter.
Note takers and truth-livers.
Seeing someone follow a message closely gives me goosebumps of humility. Hearing pages of the Bible turn – that’s priceless.
Even better, seeing people actually live the truths they are learning – makes my day! We recently did a series on the incorporation of faith and the marketplace. I’m hearing from people finding creative ways to do that. Wow! I’m encouraged!
When people start to understand the principles of grace and live out their faith individually, I feel we truly are living our mission of making disciples.
Whether in time, resources or talents, the church is built on people willing to invest in her work. The generous giver – who gives with no strings attached, and especially not seeking personal recognition – is a sure way to make a pastor smile – maybe even dance.
Honestly, there are always a minority who really learn and practice the principle and joy of giving, which may be what makes it so exciting when it happens. When I see a man or woman in the parking lot or a baby rocker in preschool, or someone who says “Pastor, I’m here to help you any way I can“, I am encouraged to keep going. Their enthusiasm for serving others encourages me.
Visitors and people who invite them
Visitors – could we grow the church and sustain it long-term without them? Of course not.
Every person in the church today, unless they were born into it, started as a visitor. Every new church member and every new opportunity to add someone to our discipleship efforts starts with a single visit.
I love people who invite people. The statistics are in our favor. Others will come if they are invited. I just want to hug them all. (I promise, though, not to hug you on your first visit – or ever if you prefer, because I want you to visit.) Seriously, one of my favorite things on Sunday is meeting visitors and on Mondays, following up on visitors.
Those who invest in others, to genuinely help them grow in their faith – and those who are truly becoming disciples – thrills me! Disciples who help disciples understand the principles of grace and truth – whether through individual mentoring or leading Bible studies – helps me know we are doing more than going through the motions. We are living the mission of the church.
New people joining the church.
It’s not just because I like church growth, which I do. It’s because I know the church is a family and every pastor loves when the family grows.
When people who have been visiting start coming more often, and eventually decide this is the church family – WOW! Exciting!
I may try to look like it’s a normal day – I don’t want you to think we are desperate for new members, or scare you as I shout real loud, but inside, I’m bursting with joy.
When the church is the church!
I am encouraged when I hear someone is in the hospital and a church member has already made a visit without being asked. Also, I get excited when I hear needs within the church have already been met because someone took it upon themselves to help.
When individual church members are concerned more about those outside the church coming to faith than their personal comfort inside the church – I know we are being the church! If the church behaves like we were called to behave, without a staff member or me having to lead the effort, I’m energized. Elated. Blessed.
There is my list.
Pastors, what other exciting things do you experience?
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