I found some notes in my Bible dated 11-16-99. I specifically remember listening to a man who was speaking on what it means to be a pastor. I vividly remember his talk and intentionally kept the notes in my Bible, but haven't looked at them ... well, probably since 11-16-99. But, for some reason I felt the need to look at the notes yesterday. Here's a major thought I wrote down on what it means to be a pastor/shepherd in God's church:
What's the most important thing a pastor should do? Most will say studying to be able to preach well. That shouldn't be. Pastoring is not just a Sunday morning event. Shepherds typically are not "exhorters" They typically like to love on people and see them grow. The number one passion of a shepherd should be the sheep! Be a good shepherd first. Be with the sheep. Don't let the number one priority be preparing for a sermon.
I'm so glad I took just a few minutes to look over those notes because it was a great reminder of what my role is. Sure, teaching and preaching is important. It's the way to communicate truth and vision. But, that truth and vision is best received by people when they know they are cared for and loved by the person doing the sharing. When I think of my role with teenagers, I know I'm not the best communicator, but I also know that at the very least my student know I'm crazy about them. And, over time, that has allowed me to often speak truth in to their life.
I rarely will have a student come up to me after I speak and tell me what a great job I did or how thankful they are that I shared what I shared. But, if I go to one of their events, it's rare that they DON'T tell me how thankful they are that I showed up. I want to give me best efforts to preparing to speak truth to our students because I take that role very seriously, but I hope I never allow that to get in the way of just being with our students and sharing life with them.
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