Pastoring can be hard work filled with disappointments and struggles.  But pastoring can also be very enjoyable and rewarding.  In my 50 years of pastoral ministry, I’ve experienced both.  I’d like to share some of my greatest joys with you to encourage you as you shepherd God’s flock.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the great honor and privilege God has given me by allowing me to shepherd some of His sheep (Acts 20:28).  I did nothing to earn or deserve this special calling, He just chose me, as He also did for salvation.  I am double chosen and double blessed.  I say along with Paul:  “I thank Christ Jesus my Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service” (1 Timothy 1:12).  Despite his sinful deeds and unworthiness, God called Paul to ministry.  He did the same with me.  And you.

I have often been amazed that He would use me.  On top of that, I have been able to earn my living by ministering so I have all my time to put into it.  I should have paid the church for the privilege of being their spiritual leader, but instead they paid me.  How wonderful is that!

A large part of a pastor’s job description is communicating God’s Word to His people.  We have the joy of studying and learning the Bible and then the added joy of sharing what we have learned with our people.  Some pastors dread sermon preparation, but it is a special privilege for us to learn from God as He speaks His truth to our hearts (Luke 24:33) and then pass it on to others.  A cook receives great pleasure when a nourishing, pleasing meal he has prepared meets the physical needs of the people he is feeding.  We have the same satisfaction when we feed the spiritual truth of the Word of God to hungry hearts and souls.

God’s Word changes lives, and we have a front row seat to watch Him work in the lives of His people.  That is very special.  We may plant and water, but He alone gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7).  We are coworkers with Him (1 Corinthians 3:9).  We have the privilege of being an under-shepherd for Jesus.   Sometimes we are only aware of the complaints and criticisms we receive.  We forget about those who have come to salvation and have grown in their faith under our ministries.  Imagine seeing a person in heaven who is there because God worked through you to bring Him to salvation (John 4:24-38).  What greater joy can there be than that!

Watching people grow in their faith was another special blessing for Paul (1 Thessalonians 1:2-10) and should be for us as well.  Just as a parent finds great joy in watching their children grow and mature, so should we rejoice in the advancement of our spiritual children.  A favorite verse of mine is: “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (2 John 3-4).

It isn’t always easy getting along with everyone to whom we minister, because some people can be very difficult to deal with.  But I can also look back on many close life-long friendships that have been developed with those to whom I ministered.  They are like family to me and my children.  Your church is your family (Titus 2;1-6).  That means you hurt when they hurt, but you also rejoice when they rejoice.  No one can make it alone; we all need others.  Walking through life with other Christians is one of the great blessings of leading God’s flock.  Some sheep can be very messy to be around, but most are special blessings from God.  Paul found great joy and reward in the growth and maturity of the people he led (1 Thessalonians 2:17-20; Philippians 4:1) and so should we.

I could list other joys and blessings, and so could you, but this is enough to remind us of the blessed privilege we have in serving Jesus.  It can seem a burden some times, but remember the positive side and keep faithfully serving.  There is joy in serving Jesus, and we’ll have all eternity to rejoice as well.

1 Peter 5:1-4  So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Make a list right now of the greatest blessings and privileges you have as a pastor or church leader.  Thank God for calling and using you for His glory.   


MY FREE BOOKS:  My ministry, Christian Training Organization, focuses on training pastors in India and other countries where Christian education is lacking.  I have written 16 books about all aspects of pastoring, teaching and church leadership.  They are in English, Telugu, Hindi and Spanish.  You can download them from my web site      Scroll down and click on “Training Up India,”  then “Download Books” on the ribbon across the top.  Tell those in the ministry about these free resources.   If you have questions or I can help you please email me at ​



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