“This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.” (
1 Timothy 3:1 NKJV)
One commentator aptly notes concerning this verse:
A needful preface to what follows: for the office of a bishop or overseer in Paul’s day, attended as it was with hardship and often persecution, would not seem to the world generally a desirable and “good work.”
I will never forget walking into a homiletics class at Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute and on my first day being confronted by Dr. Kenneth Ridings with these arresting words, “If you can do anything other than preach, do it! If you do not know God has called you, leave the class.” There was a lot of nervous shifting in the seats and indeed some would not make it beyond the week. Others would fall by the wayside and about half the number who started finished. Years later, only a handful are still in ministry.
It is a good work, but nobody said it was an easy work! For me, however, there really is nothing else I can do, or want to do—for it is a faithful God who has called me to this good work and I am honored to serve.
Should anyone be considering whether God is calling them and they have an idea that it is a job laden with perks and privileges, they are bound for disappointment. That is not to say that being a pastor is unattended by blessings—there are many—but the reality is that there are also many burdens, buffetings and bruises.
The critical matter is the call of God. If this is thrust upon a man he has been invited into the highest of honors to shepherd the flock of God.
You never call us to rigor without providing resources. Thank you that your grace is available for each demand placed upon Your servants. This is a faithful word. Your word always is and we rejoice that You have called us to faithfully proclaim it! You have given us a good work and we want to do it well. Fill us with gratitude for the opportunity to make an eternal difference through the church.
In the Name of the Living Word, Jesus,