The one profession which lends itself to less accountability than any other is the pastorate. Any pastor who doesn't want to be accountable for his actions can easily make that happen. Too often, the pastor is looked at as THE spiritual leader of the church and no one is ever allowed to be close to him nor to question him. Most pastors rarely have anyone ask them, "So how was your quiet time today?" or "How is your marriage going?" or "Have you been having any struggles lately?" Seminary teaches us that we are to have all the answers and we are to be the leaders. But the truth is that pastors have the same struggles as anyone in the pew. We get discouraged, frustrated, angry, bitter and can even feel overwhelmed, underappreciated and totally insignificant. There are a multitude of reasons why a pastor falls, but one of those strong reasons is a lack of accountability.
Why am I putting this on a blog for the world to see? Because I am trying to buck that trend and open myself up to be accountable and allow fellow pilgrims into my journey. I am sharing this because I need others to speak into my life. I need periods of refreshment when I can be taught and simply listen and learn. I need opportunities to not be a leader, but someone who is being led. Every pastor needs these things, we just don't like to admit it. That's why I am grateful for the times Shane has been preaching at our church as he works through his final semester of seminary. That is why I am grateful for the pastors who meet at Hillcrest every Wednesday morning to pray and encourage each other. That is why I am grateful to have a group of twelve men who receive monthly prayer letters from me and who pray for me. That is why I am grateful to have deacons who deac and are not afraid to ask me about my personal life and my faith journey. That's why I am grateful to have the opportunity to go to BASS this weekend and listen to others encourage me and speak God's Word into my life.
Do you need that? Of course you do. But do you HAVE that? Who speaks into your life? Who knows the times you may go astray or be putting on a happy front while inside you are dying? Who can call your bluff and speak a hard truth to you? How are you being led by the Spirit? The church is the body of Christ - More than one. We all have a part and we need each other. Make sure you have a brother or sister in Christ with whom you pray, share and encourage.
This past Friday, I got to speak time with one of my best friends in the world, Evan Dalrymple. Many of you have heard him sing and he is gifted in this area. But he is also a close brother. I have called him in some of my darkest moments and he has been the encourager. He has told me hard truths that I didn't want to hear, but I needed to hear. The tables have also been turned and I have had the honor of seeing him in some of the most hurting moments of his life. We rarely get to see each other since he lives in Denver. We try to talk consistently by phone and find out what is happening in each other's lives. The few hours I spent with him on Friday passed way to quickly, but it felt like we had just seen each other yesterday. There is only one reason for that: Jesus.
II Timothy 2:2 says, "And the things you have heard me say int he presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable me who will also be qualified to teach others." The goal of the church is to develop men and women who can be entrusted with the truths of Christ and teach others. Are you trustworthy? Are you passing these truths on to others? How well are you teaching?
May this Sip bring a desire to have refreshment in having a brother or sister who walks with you.