“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit… And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” —Ephesians 6:18-20
Although my primary vocation is that of pastor to a congregation in Alabama, it is only a “vocation” as far as the secular world is concern. The eternal reality is that my position as a minister is a calling, which is not something that I can turn on or off at will. Granted, there are times when I don’t feel as pastoral as I ought, but the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. This is the difference between a career and a calling.
Because my health has miraculously improved, I’ve taken on additional employment with secular work 2 days per week. Although I am bi-vocational at present, I am not a part-time pastor. Friends, there is no such thing as a part-time pastor. If a man is called to the ministry by the Spirit of God, then he is full-time, regardless of whether he works at another job for 40 or even 60 or more hours per week. Let me repeat: there’s no such thing as a part-time pastor.
To minister to the souls with which the Lord has placed in my care requires steadfast prayer, diligent study, and the unbridled love from heaven above because they are the Lord’s flock and I am merely a steward of their nurture and feeding. As it requires the same faithfulness to minister to 3 or 3,000, spiritually speaking, likewise it requires the same faithfulness to minister to souls whether you have 6 hours devoted to the congregation or 60 hours. All of it requires power from above and must rest upon God’s grace and gracious supply for 6 hours as much as 60 hours.
The apostle Paul recognized this as he pleads for prayer while in a Roman prison chained to a guard. His calling had not ceased, neither his passion for the gospel proclamation. Although his circumstances have changed, his calling had not.
The Christian life, in general, is no different. There is no such thing as a part-time Christian. Said another way, you’re either a saint or you ain’t. You cannot turn your Christianity on and off at will. Sure, you may at times slide, stumble, or even fall, but the Christian is grieved over the weakness of the flesh and cries out, like the apostle,
“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do…. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:19, 24
Let us plead with one another for prayer.
Do you pray for your pastor?
Do you pray for your pastor that he would be earnestly and steadfastly praying for you?
Leave a comment. Share some victories you’ve experienced in your own prayer life. What has especially grieved you in prayer and how has the grace of God ministered to you through His Word?