The year is coming to a conclusion and soon another year will commence. Life does not slow down, it only accelerates as the years pass. There are many things that call for our attention as pastors. We need the wisdom to determine the most important ones, and the discipline to say no to those that aren’t.
Acts 6 is a passage of Scripture that keeps me anchored, and brings peace to my life and ministry when the responsibilities stack up. The context of the passage is important. There was a complaint that arose from among the Hellenist widows. Apparently they were not being served in the daily distribution. The Apostles indicated that the congregation needed to choose men from among them, who were full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, to meet the needs. The Apostles would not neglect the preaching of the Word of God to serve tables. Men were chosen to serve, so the Apostles could carry out their responsibilities.
Now, we are not Apostles, but I believe the principles can be applied. There are other passages of Scripture that give further insight into the responsibilities of pastors in overseeing the church of the Living God. It is clear however, that the principles of prayer and ministry of the word, are foundational to our ministry.
My relationship to God in prayer is essential, and leading the people of God in prayer is central to the mission of God being carried out. The ministry of the word feeds the people of God, instructs them in the way of righteousness, and provides the blueprint for life with God. If the ministry of the word is neglected, the pastor will suffer and the people of God will as well.
The result of the Apostles prioritizing prayer and the ministry of the word was that the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly. I believe the same can be true of our service to God. If we will prioritize what God prioritizes, He will take care of the increase.
How is your prayer life? What are you doing intentionally to lead the people of God in prayer?
How is your ministry of the word? Are you diligent in study, persevering even when you may not feel like it? Is it evident that you are laboring faithfully in the word?