Editor’s Note: The weekend can be an incredibly distressing time for many pastors to enter into. The desire to spend quality time with family while juggling the pressures of an unfinished sermon can be an exhausting reality. What many pastors need are not more tips on how to prepare better sermons as much as some encouragement to better prepare their hearts to preach the sermon they have. Join Ronnie Martin every Friday for The Preachers Corner, where he offers some words of comfort and stories of hope to help preachers enter the weekend encouraged by the gentle and lowly heart of Jesus.
This pastoring thing was never supposed to be manageable. Jesus was fairly unambiguous when He said that trouble would abound. I think we just didn’t know the emotional, physical, relational, and spiritual toll it would take on average humans such as ourselves. We are like people who walk the streets on a rainy day, occasionally finding a patch of dry ground underneath an awning, before stepping out to experience the vast droplets of water penetrating our clothing, and making us drenched and unkempt.
As preachers, we are constantly exposed to the rainfall of ministry. A ministry of conflict that falls on our spiritual heads and drenches our emotional hearts while forcing us to wield the umbrellas of self-protection. But the sober truth is, you were made to be rained upon, pastor. Jesus prepared you before the foundation of the world for the gloomy weather of ministry that drenches your soul with the wetness of grief and discouragement. Ministry rainfall will always be part of the forecast of your life. Now before you click out of this most Eyeore of articles, give me another sec. Because I want to encourage you to leave your umbrella at home. I want you to embrace the ministry rainfall that God has forecasted for your life because it originated from His heart of kindness and steadfast love.
There’s a classic scene in the 1952 movie Singin’ In the Rain where Gene Kelly walks outside with an umbrella over his head, before eventually embracing the rain because his heart has been made light with the love he feels for his co-star. At the risk of dated analogies and uber-Grandpa status, Kelly makes a good point for us pastors, which is this: we were never meant to stay safe and dry from the torrential downpours of our life and ministries. And like Gene Kelly, we can embrace these moments because
“the love of God controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (1 Cor. 5:14,15).
As you’re attempting to finish your sermon today in what may be one of the rainiest seasons of your ministry life,
Remember who you don’t live for anymore.
Remember who for your sake died and was raised.
And embrace the rain God has brought down upon you, because your heart is more saturated by His love than by any storm imaginable. Let your people see what their pastor looks like when caught in a rainstorm.
So leave your umbrella at home.