1) Pastor, You Are Not Alone
"For they say,’ His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account." 2 Corinthians 10:10
Pastor, know that you are not alone. You’re not the only one who has had church folk talk badly about you. Paul did as well. He heard of the things people in Corinth were saying about him. Remember, Paul spent a year and a half pouring his very life into this church. Even still, the people in the church said things about Paul that stung deeply. Don't think for a second Paul was unaffected. He was a preacher and people were saying, "He can't preach.” That hurts. Sadly, this pain is a part of ministry, and it always will be. In moments like these we must remember that we have sinned against our perfect Pastor, Jesus, yet Jesus has been faithful and loving toward us. Here, and here alone, is our strength to move forward.
2) Pastor, You Are Free From The Comparison Trap
"Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding." 2 Corinthians 10:12
We’ve all been there: Pastors are the worst with the comparing nonsense. You know it’s true! We pastors can be some of the most insecure people in the world. You don't know “little man syndrome” till you have been to a pastor’s conference filled with conversation after conversation of men trying to validate themselves through numbers, whit, and wisdom. Paul tells us that we do this because we are without understanding. When we understand the Gospel, we are secure with being who God calls us to be. Our identity is never going to be found in the shadows or footsteps of other preachers. Pastor, because of the Gospel of Jesus, you are free!
3) Pastor, Be Where You Are
"But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us." 2 Corinthians 10:13
Did you catch that? God has assigned to you an area of influence. God has you where you are. In my Bible I have an old note next to this verse that reads, "Be okay with what God assigns me.” If I were to write next to that verse today in place of "Be okay with" it would read, “Enjoy what God has assigned to me.” I don't have to daydream about greener pastures or lost possibilities, and neither do you, brother. God has you where He has you. He has that other pastor where He has him. As Jim Elliot once said, "Wherever you are, be all there.”
Pastor, you are free to be “all there.”