At our recent Church Workday was reminded of this rather old, but still applicable today, humorous illustration concerning the pastor.

THE PERFECT PASTOR: “The perfect pastor preaches exactly 15 minutes, then sits down. He condemns sin harshly, but never makes anyone upset. He works from 3:00 a.m. to midnight and is also the janitor. He makes $50.00 a week, wears good clothes, drives a fine car, buys good books, and gives $50.00 a week to the church. He is 28 years old and has 30 years of experience. He is tall and short, slender and fat, hair parted down the middle ‑ one half dark and curly, the other blond and straight. He has a burning desire to spend all his time with the youth and works constantly with the senior citizens. The perfect pastor makes 15 calls a day and is never out of the office. If your pastor does not measure up, simply send this letter to six other parishes that are tired of their pastors, too. Then, bundle up your pastor and send him to the church at the top of the list. In one week, you will receive 1,643 pastors and one should be a dandy. Have faith in this letter and don’t break the chain. One church broke it and got its old pastor back!”

That story led me to another from my memories.

THE MINISTERS ULCERS: Nearly every business man complains of at least one ulcer. We could not help thinking how many ulcers the poor business man would have if he worked under the same circumstances as the average minister. Just suppose that you were the over-seer of 100 workers and only 50% of them ever showed up to work at a given time, and only 25% of them could really be relied on? Suppose that every time one of your workers had a slight headache, or company dropped in, or a flash of lightning appeared in the sky, large numbers of your workers pulled the covers over their heads and failed to appear for duty. Suppose your workers only worked when they felt like it (or had nothing better to do), and yet you had to beg them, plead with them, pat them on the back, and use every means under the sun to persuade them to work without offending them?  And suppose you were in competition with a notorious rascal, the devil, who has no scruples and is far more clever then you are, using such attractive things as fishing, sports, soft pillows, television, and a thousand other things to attract your customers? Just suppose you had to depend upon your work force for your capital (that’s money) and they gave only when they “felt led” to carry out the biggest business in the world? How many ulcers would you have?

What are your expectations of the church, the pastor or other members? What do you think are God’s expectations of you? Perhaps I should just ask, what are your expectations of yourself with respect to what you say that you believe? Do you have any? What is “The Church” to you? Who is “God” in your life?” Is God and the church just something that is there for you when it’s convenient, or when you have a special need? What became of your pledge and commitment to the Lord?

The year 2014 is coming to a close and a new year begins. Perhaps this should be a time for some personal reflection concerning what we expect of ourselves in our relationship with Jesus, who we claim is God. If He truly is God, our God, then we owe everything to Him, even though we give so little. So let’s make a change. But, don’t wait for the New Year, start now.

Let’s raise our expectations. Let’s raise or faithfulness to the Lord. Let’s, be all we can be, do all we can do and live for the God who gave His life for us. What do you say? Are you ready for a closer walk with Him?

Pastor Bill