My friend and fellow laborer in Christ, Marty Schoenleber Jr, wrote a post on Facebook that I must share. Marty has a heart for the Lord, for the Lord’s people, and for those who shepherd local flocks. He nails the experience that pastors have on Sunday evenings while reflecting on the day. An encouraging word from a caring brother–pastors, you are not alone! Thanks, Marty.
Having a typical “pastor Sunday afternoon.” What does that mean? you ask. Like most pastors, a mixture of fatigue, regret and hope. Fatigue because standing and delivering the word of life to a congregation is emotionally and physically exhausting in a way that most don’t understand. The burden of knowing that people need the word of life, that it is not me they need to hear but God, that critical decisions are being made in people’s lives and they need the wisdom of God
And then there is the regret that you never get it right. This point could have been clearer. That point was made with the right force. Did they get it? Do they know why this is important? How will the congregation live this out this week? Did the message give God His proper place? Did I help them to see God more clearly?
And finally, hope. I hope they will forget everything that is unhelpful and remember only what will help them to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. Every pastor, every teacher goes through periods of low-grade depression and malaise over this work. And so this afternoon, I went back and read some of my earlier posts on preaching and reminded my heart that this is what I want to try to do this week, and the next week, and the next week, until Jesus calls me home.