I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 2 Timothy 1:3 (NIV).
Ministry is a family business. I know more than a few ministers whose parents and even grandparents were also ministers. Me, I’m not a pastor, minister, reverend, or called servant of Christ. Except for the desire He puts on my heart to help others and write these words, I’m not much of any kind of minister at all. I’ve simply never felt that kind of a calling. Nobody in my ancestry ever did, either. Yet I know many ministers whose family history is service to God. Multiple generations going into ministry; spouses, children and siblings all working in various kinds of ministry. They put their all into it, usually for many hours of low-paying but Godly, satisfying work.
So I thank God, as my ancestors did, that there are men and women who feel God’s personal call into ministry. They are formal, recognized servants of His Word. They do a tough job so others don’t have to. They actually do spend long periods of time, usually daily, in communication with the Lord. Sometimes it’s formal, private, on-your-knees kind of prayer; sometimes it looks more like self-talk But it’s the kind of activity that even we of this skeptical age would call “constantly remembering us in their prayers.” That’s a big deal, you know. Prayer isn’t just a wish list or some psychological panacea designed to make you feel better. It’s a vital tool in the arsenal of a Christian warrior. It’s involving God Almighty in everything for which we pray. Pastors aren’t bystanders in the daily battles of life: they’re warriors, leading from the front (as all good leaders must).
Our society favors those who work in a family business. Farmers, military officers, politicians, stockbrokers, academics, factory workers, even athletes: some of the most famous names in these fields come from families where multiple generations live, earn and serve in the same field. It should be no surprise that Godly ministry favors the same dynamic. Nobody in my family has ever gone into called ministry, though I do have an uncle who worked in prison ministry for many years and he’s the strongest believer I know. Some of my best friends are pastors; it might surprise you to learn I’ve even partied with them…on multiple occasions. Pastors are people too. I thank God for them in my prayers because, long ago and over and over again, they’ve thanked Him for me in theirs.
For further reading: 2 Timothy 4.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for calling women and men to serve you in ministry. Uphold them, strengthen them, give them courage and health and wisdom.