I have two pastoral heroes whose lives I want to emulate. One is now with the Lord, but the other continues to serve the Lord faithfully even into older age. I could write all day about things I heard them say that have changed my life, but I’m focusing in this post on things I’ve never heard from them. Sometimes, what we don’t say is as important as what we do say.
I can’t speak for every word they’ve ever said, but I personally never heard these pastoral mentors speak of:
- Anything off color. Never a joke. Never an innuendo. Never a word that even borders on the edge. Never.
- Anything negative about another person. It’s hard for me to believe even as I write the words, but they’re true. No matter what they may have experienced in ministry, they didn’t cross the line.
- Anything less than great humility. They didn’t tell us they’re humble, though; they just showed it in their walk and their words.
- Anything less than great joy in doing ministry. I know some of the burdens they bore in ministry, but the tough times never robbed them of their joy. They loved ministry.
- Anything less than passion for the Gospel. That passion was obvious in their personal conversations and in their proclamation. In fact, I seldom was with them when I didn’t hear them evangelize.
- Anything less than gratitude and love for their family. If you listened to them for any time at all, you would know how much their family mattered to them. They honored their family every chance they got.
- Anything less than faithful trust in God even in the most difficult circumstances. Again, I’ve watched these mentors work through tough situations, but their faith never wavered.
- Anything less than calling out the called and sending out their best. I add this one not only because my mentors have dozens of people who discovered a calling under their ministry, but also because I’m convinced pastors today most often miss this opportunity. In fact, I’ve written about this issue here.
Which of these is likely the most difficult one for you to emulate?
This article originally appeared at chucklawless.com.