TIRED SHEPHERDS, HUNGRY WOLVES
Each week your Lititz Record is delivered to your house, office or some other place of your choice. Nicely, tucked within the pages of the publication are a few inspirational words offered by a local pastor or Christian leader. I’ve written many of these articles myself throughout the past several years. Today, I would like to dedicate my words to those fellow pastors and Christian leaders who so faithfully serve in the raging battles of ministerial life. I speak to you who are weary, hurting, angry and exhausted! I speak to you tired shepherds in the midst of hungry wolves.
I heard a story a couple of weeks ago that inspired these comments today. A married couple felt “a call” to a foreign mission field. They diligently prayed, prepared themselves and worked to raise the needed support to make their dream and vision a reality. The matter of raising support and coming up with the needed financial base they would need was a daunting task. The couple, was only able to raise minimal support but decided to go to their chosen mission field. I’m not sure why their mission board ever allowed them to proceed without the necessary support. The endeavor was a disaster! The couple was placed into a sub housing arrangement and lived in a dilapidated old trailer with a leaky roof and in need of many repairs. The ministry and mission work was grueling and wore them down in ways that seriously and detrimentally effected their physical, mental and emotional health. After a few months they returned home, crushed with abounding physical and relationship problems between them. The couple were hurting, feeling isolated and alone, no one to talk to, no encouragement, guidance or direction. Alone!
The question that resonates in my mind? Where were God’s people? Where were the “loving saints” to undergird, love and lift this couple in a time of critical need? We all know that God’s people reach out to others in need and offer comfort and solace. But, in fact there are people who fall through the cracks! There are people who get lost in the shuffle, forgotten and ignored. Perhaps, you are one of them or you know someone who needs an emotional, mental and spiritual lift RIGHT NOW.
DEAR PASTOR & MINISTERIAL FRIEND, may I offer some common sense words today if you find yourself in the midst of trial, tribulation, weariness, exhaustion, facing opposition, or just plain have had enough of the congregational and ecclesiastical cycle of hate, betrayal and indifference.
PRAY, churches don’t always imitate Christ (1 Peter 5:7)
CONFRONT the OFFENDER (Matthew 18:15)
FORGIVE (Matthew 6:15)
FIND A FAITHFUL COMPANION TO TALK TO ON A REGULAR BASIS (Matthew 18:16)
RESOLVE YOUR OWN PAST (Matthew 7)
God bless you pastor! “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2 If you need a friend, someone to talk to about something on your mind or heart, reach out.
Russ Hobbs directs Russ Hobbs Ministries, check us out on the web at www.russhobbs.org
Contact us at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org