Many of my articles come from the perspective of pastors. That will not change in the future. I am an advocate of pastors and I desire God’s best for them. I have no plans to change my advocacy role.
As a change of pace, however, I recently asked a few hundred laypersons to write down what they desired of a pastor. Their responses were open-ended, and there was no limitation on the number of items they could list. Though my approach was not scientific, these laypersons did represent over sixty churches.
Here are their top ten responses in order of frequency. Since many of them gave one or more sentences as a response, I can provide a representative comment by each of the responses.
The list of ten items is found here.
I’d love to hear if this resonates or if there are other thoughts.
“God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all” (Titus 3:2).
“Show true humility toward all.” Think about that for a minute. What does that look like, true humility to everyone? We live in a very proud nation. We’re proud to be Americans, proud to live in such a beautiful state as Colorado, proud of our families, our pets, jobs, kids, sports teams just to name a few. But, are we living how we were called?
Here are a few more things to think about from the Bible on humility:
“Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor” (Proverbs 29:23).
“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).
“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:12-14).
Pride leads to humiliation and disgrace. Humility brings honor, wisdom and good works.
I’ve always said that it’s important to take pride in your hard work for example, but I can’t find that anywhere in the Bible. Instead we are told to “work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23). I think I’m going to have to re-evaluate my entire life view after writing this.
What does it really look like to live in humility?
Guest Post- Rachel Theobald
As the end of the Torah rolled around a bit of sadness overcame me. The end of a forty year era was done. The end of Moses ministry to the people was done. The end of his event-filled 120 years was complete. There has been, nor ever will be a man like Moses. One can see now why is so revered in the Jewish Faith. “Moses and the Prophets,” they say. He embodied many attributes of Father. He was patient with the people, though at times wondered why he had to lead this group of rebellious and stiff-necked people. He interceded on their behalf for Father not to wipe them off the face of the earth. Moses stayed faithful to the wandering Hebrews, he never quit or left them on the side of the road. Yet in the end, even Father’s most favored man on the planet at the time had to deal with the result of his decisions and disobedience. Moses was not allowed to enter the place he vowed to lead the people towards. His forty years of education and training– lead to forty years of training with Father– which lead to his forty years of service– ending with looking at the place of promise.
Did any of you stop to ponder the choices for why which tribes were chosen to be on Mt. Gerazim and Mt. Ebal during the recitation of the blessings and curses? The two tribes from which the two positive spies surfaced, the priests, “Praise,” the youngest son from whom the first king came, the favored one of Jacob, and the laboring servant were all on the Mt. of Blessing. There are many reasons why the others on the Mt. of Curses side. See if you can come up with more than what I have listed.
When you read through the blessings and cursed in chapter 28, was there any evidence of which category events of your life fell in? Did you see any evidence of your obedience or disobedience and the results of said decisions?
In the end, I think the most poignant words to date are found in Deut. 32:47, “They are not just idle words for you– they are your life.” As we are reading all of these words and believe me, I know we have read a lot of words in the past two weeks, they are our life.
They are our sustenance,
they are our eternity,
they are our success,
they are our prosperity,
they are a key,
they are our nourishment,
they are our warfare,
they are a door to understanding Father,
they are victory,
they are a gift,
they are grace and mercy,
they are all we need for a life of faith and godliness.