Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today's New Testament reading is Ephesians 3:1-21. I'd like us to consider what St. Paul writes in verses 7-10:
ESV 7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
Like the family into which you were born, the Pastoral Office isn't earned, or acquired, by those who hold it. That's not to say that men don't desire to be pastors. It's just not their decision to make.
Not everyone in the church understands this.
Go to www.churchjobs.net and you will find a website where men (and women) can submit resumes to find jobs as pastors: Senior Pastor, Executive Pastor, Associate Pastor, Music Minister & Worship Pastor, Children's Pastor, Youth Pastor, and the list goes on.
Did St. Paul submit a resume to the LORD before he was appointed an apostle? I don't think so. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given (verse 8).
Desiring to be a pastor is a good thing. Paul writes in his letter to Timothy, "
If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task" (1 Timothy 3:1). But not everyone who aspires to the office, is given the office.
You see, nobody has a right to the Pastoral Office. It isn't something that a man can take for himself because he thinks he "deserves" it.
And why should this matter to you? Because it means that your Pastor(s) haven't placed themselves into their offices or the pulpits from which they proclaim the good news of the Gospel. Christ himself has placed them, or "called" them, like He did St. Paul, to stand in the office that He Himself created to ensure that His story would be told. In other words--it's not their ministry, or their pulpit, or their good news--it's the ministry of Christ, and His pulpit, and ultimately, it's the good news of what Christ has done for you that the pastor has been "given grace" to proclaim.
So pray for, and root for, and encourage the men of God that have been placed into the divinely-instituted Pastoral Office in your congregation. For while they are just men, and will disappoint and frustrate, the message they proclaim will not! Amen.