Ecclesiastes 4:9,10--Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.
I wouldn’t have church planted if it weren’t for Dan, Bill, Tom, Larry, Dana, Bob, Mark, Jeff, well, you get the idea! Before I agreed to start a new church one of the stipulations was that God would have to provide me a ministry partner. I don’t mean to suggest that I was telling God what He had to do. Rather, I was reflecting a principle He firmly established in my heart.
Ministry is tough. I empathize deeply with other pastors. Too much is expected of them. Most work too hard and are unappreciated. Many have few close friends and yet must shoulder an incredibly heavy load placed on their shoulders by people who expect a shepherd, CEO, polished speaker, 24/7 available, super dad with awesome children, Bible-expositor, humility-radiator, husband to a piano-playing-sweet-singing woman of incredible beauty on a budget burger-flippers make at McDonalds! Oh Lord do we have an unrealistic model of what the Bible suggests in a pastor.
You can bet there was no way I would even assume to pastor without a team of like-hearted warriors. And I hope you are not offended by the word “warrior”. If you are, wake up! There’s a war going on and it isn’t pretty.
On Saturday evenings Dan and I would pray for Sunday, the lost we rub up against, our precious body, our family and whatever the Lord led. We have fun together competing on the soccer field. We’ve wept together as God has broken our hearts. We’ve disagreed on issues. We are completely different in some respects and incredibly joined at the hip in others. When it comes to spiritual growth and serving God, I’m blessed to have Dan. He is always there for me and vice-versa. It’s a great thing to be able to serve knowing God has given me a man who deeply loves Him, who dispenses wise counsel, who is not afraid to be vulnerable and who most of all is REAL.
I can’t speak for women but I can tell you as a guy, I need other close men in my life to sharpen me, to be ears when I need to unload, hearts willing to care, arms able to lift, hands capable of holding, feet willing to go! Comradeship is vital!
Whether you’re a man or a woman, I hope you are not swayed into thinking you can go your own way. Trust me, you won’t grow right on your own. You are less than God intended if you operate without letting Christian brothers and sisters have a place in your heart. So be willing to be vulnerable. Sure, you may get hurt. Friends will let you down. But if your eyes stay fixed on Jesus, you’ll find that God-fearing friends are invaluable. Just remember, to find a friend you have to be a friend. Hmmm. It’s time to give my buddies a call!
The comradeship of God is made up out of men who know their poverty.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©1997 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)