The Reward: "As a Writer to Pastors"
For most of my life, I have lived in a pastoral world. I have been a pastor, written for pastors, and helped pastors more than any other group. Even though all pastors feel a bit odd about being pastors, it is our life. We can't figure out how to do anything else. We are not better people than average; we just have been tapped on the shoulder by the Divine to do this work.
My greatest rewards come from the pastors I have helped. It is quite satisfying to receive a thank-you for my ministry or to be quoted. Many pastors have talked with me about how much my written work has guided their lives. Sometimes it is frightening to know how much influence I have had on thousands of pastors and parishioners around the globe. When my plane lifts off the ground from yet another city where I have ministered, I often get a rush of thanksgiving. I have done well; I have helped someone, and I have left behind ideas and books. There are great rewards in being noticed, wanted, respected. They are much better than trophies.
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Making a difference is what motivates me to keep writing, sitting down daily and putting my feet under the desk and words on the screen. The goal of my instruction has been to convince leaders to invest their lives in teaching others to obey everything that Christ commanded. I have always believed that there is nothing wrong with the church that discipleship cannot cure. Discipleship is the hope of the world because it produces a quality of life that preserves the moral character of a society and illuminates the darkest corners of the human personality.
Dallas Willard wrote, "It will come as a shock to many to think that Jesus did not tell his followers to make Christians or start churches, as we automatically think of Christians and churches today.”* My bottom-line message to pastors is this: Jesus told us to make disciples, and if we commit to that, all other subsidiary activity such conversion and church planting will take care of themselves. They are by-products, not the product themselves.
NOTE: *Dallas Willard, Knowing Christ Today (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2010), 210.
Written by Bill Hull
Taken from The Christian Leader by Bill Hull. Copyright © 2016 by Robert W. Hull. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.