â€œIf a church wants a better pastor, it can get one by praying for the one it has.â€Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Rev. Robert E. Harris
Many preachers wasted their carefree, reckless teen years by becoming a Christian at a tender young age and answering the call to preach.Â Didnâ€™t they know that those are the years to try new things, like alcohol, drugs, sex, hanging out and basically doing nothing.Â Instead they were studying the Bible and learning about Jesus and sharing what they learned with others!Â Those crazy preachers!
They could have chosen a career with good benefits, more time off, and a bigger salary.Â But instead they chose a career with an uncertain salary, long hours, too much time away from their family, dealing with a lot of hard to please people, lots of moving around and with most of the rewards to be realized after they leave this earth.Â Those crazy preachers!
I have observed some things about those crazy preachers.Â They get up before daylight and travel to an out of town hospital to pray with the family of someone who is undergoing major surgery.Â Now they could just as easily stay at home and pray, but they know that their presence is needed.
They give up their day off to perform a wedding ceremony or attend an activity at the church.Â Donâ€™t they know they could be playing golf or fishing or going to the beach?Â After all, thatâ€™s what a lot of their congregation does some Sundayâ€™s.Â They forego precious time with their own family to go and minister to the needs of someone elseâ€™s family, but are still expected to raise perfect children.Â They are on call 24/7 just in case someone needs them.Â After all, they are pastors, and isnâ€™t that what we pay them for?
They are often put down by the community because they donâ€™t fit in with the worldâ€™s view of who they should be and who God is.Â They wonâ€™t compromise and they remain dogmatic about what the Bible teaches.Â To invite such criticism is just crazy, right?
Their reputations are often smeared by disgruntled church members or by those who choose to live in a sinful lifestyle, and those crazy pastors have the audacity to call a sin a sin.Â They patiently listen to petty and selfish complaining by the very members of their congregation who should be loving and supportive of their pastor and church.
They pray and study every week to bring Godâ€™s message to the church and plead with us to live within the will of God and come to Jesus, only to see little or no positive response.Â Itâ€™s just crazy to keep preaching about using spiritual gifts, witnessing to the lost, and God forbid that they should mention tithing!Â Why not give up and preach what makes everybody feel good!Â Those crazy preachers!
But, to those of us who have cried on their shoulder when life has dealt us a heavy blow, or who have held their hand while standing over the final resting place of a dear loved one, or who have been overwhelmed by guilt because of some deed we have done and been reassured that we are forgiven, loved and accepted, or who have come to realize our need for a savior because we heard the message of the cross from one of those crazy preachers, we are eternally grateful and blessed to have them in our church and our life.
So, Pastors, we acknowledge that the world needs more crazy preachers. We humbly ask that you go on being who you are, doing what you do and loving us who are so unlovable, and never lose that love of God that burns in your spirit to change the world for Jesus.