First, I miss relationships with people. Because of my position I am rarely in the same church for two Sundays in a row. I tell my home church I am the worst church member whose name is on the roll. LOL!
There is something wonderful about being in a relationship with people. These relationships offer many rich dividends: friendship, support, encouragement, prayer and accountability.
Second, I miss fellowship with other believers. Fellowship is more than a relationship. It is a relationship with other believers who share values, beliefs and heart. This is not something you walk in and receive. This benefit comes from being in close proximity.
Third, I miss the privilege of shepherding people. Funerals, weddings, surgeries and the like are not easy to maneuver. However, there is no feeling to compare with the fulfillment of being present during a person’s moment of need. It offers them encouragement and hope. Shepherding people is one of the great privileges in serving as a pastor.
Fourth, I miss people’s affirmation. This may sound egotistical, but affirmation is a basic need of human life. Statements such as, “That sermon spoke to my heart today,” “Thanks for being there when my mother died,” “Thanks for helping me to grow spiritually,” are affirming to a minister. People offer affirmation by sharing gifts, calling, sending notes, or a simple thank you while passing in the hall. All of these actions make you feel as if you are walking on a cloud. Affirmation is needed!
These four positive results of serving as a pastor (and others you may list) are a reminder to give thanks. God has given you a marvelous privilege. There are many trials and discouragements but there are many wonderful benefits. I am reminded of Paul’s words in I Th. 5:18, “In everything give thanks.” It is easy to focus on the demands of ministry and fail to acknowledge the blessings. The blessings will certainly offset the difficulties. We are a privileged few.