Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Between the Bridge and the Moon

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on November 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm

A fair amount of attention is paid these days to ‘balance’. Many times that attention is fully justified. I find it very important to keep certain truths in tension not only in my own individual life, but in my pastoral life as well. How should I think about the church at any given moment? Should I be excited, encouraged, over moon?   Or should I be pessimistic and be tempted to jump off the bridge? There are days when I receive a word from someone that they feel unwanted and unloved by the church and literally an hour later get an email or a call from someone who wants to let me know that they have never felt so loved and so supported by any church body anywhere. Who do I believe?   What emotion will win the day?

I remember one Lord’s Day afternoon walking to my study with a teenager who was under deep conviction of sin and wanting to embrace Christ (what a joy!) and while I am walking with him to my study having a resignation letter handed to me by a member. What is the Lord saying in such times?  Are all my joys to be tempered with sorrow or are all my sorrows leavened with joy?

At least once a year the elders of the church get together during a retreat and prayerfully go through every member of the church. Much of this is encouraging, but there are times when we realize how much better we need to do in ministering to this one or that one. We realize we have members who are mature and those who are not, those who are pursuing Christ with all their might and those who are coasting. What are we to make of such things? Frankly, that this is church life in the present age. Triumphs, joys, victories, failures, sins and disappointments all run together. It means that when I receive news that would thrill my heart, I don’t jump over the moon and when I hear things that weigh me down, I don’t jump off the bridge. There is a bit of the curse in everything and there is something of the triumphal scepter of Christ there too.

Jim Savastio, Pastor
Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville

  1. Being a pastor is not easy because each member of the congregation is different as was pointed out. Recognizing this should help a pastor to know hpw to handle individual problems. It is so important to keep our pastors in prayer and give them our support and encouragement. Some pastors seem to be aloof and others very friendly. I’ve been in both types of churches and found that a friendly pastor makes it easier to give that support and prayer as well as share concerns. When my pastor calls me to see how I am doing, I know he cares and I am more than just someone in a pew.

  2. Jim, I”m even just encouraged that the elders at your church go through the membership list once a year! Many churches should do that more often, especially when the Lord will hold them accountable for the names listed there. No pressure intended, but Paul the apostle did warn concerning the Lord’s expectations of those in leadership (Acts 20:28).

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