Thursday, July 5, 2018

Dear Urban Pastor

What you do is so hard. It's necessary and amazing, but it is hard.

You never seem to have enough money, enough time, enough help, enough...anything. God is so faithful to you, but there are still days when the load feels heavy and the road seems lonely.

Sometimes you sit around the table with leaders whose successes look different than yours and it's hard to not question if you're doing it right. Maybe you have a second or third job to make ends meet, attendance is spotty, and leadership development is painfully slow. Other leaders ask about your five year plans and you are wondering if you'll even make it through the next week.

Chances are that you ARE doing it right--you just might be doing something different. God never said your church had to look like anything but the Body of Christ.

Sometimes people even question your call. Couldn't you use your gifts in another place? At another church? In another neighborhood? You could go anywhere!

And you could. You could go anywhere to serve the Lord, but instead you have chosen to plant your feet in the midst of chaos and declare the victory of Jesus. Christ has used the light of his Word, held in your faithful hands, to beckon people out of the darkness. You have dared to follow the example of the Good Shepherd, who left the 99 to search for the 1. You and your family climb into the dark and rocky places searching for the lost.

I just want you to know that you are my s/hero.

If today is a day where the burden is heavy and the way seems unclear, let me speak truth to you. 

You are a beloved child of God. You have nothing to prove. 

You are a faithful servant of  the Almighty. There is nothing he cannot provide.

You are a warrior for the Victorious King. You can battle on, knowing the victory is sure.

You are the lamb of the Good Shepherd. There is rest and strength in his arms.

You are called and commissioned by Jesus. Your neighbors are worth taking up your cross and following him for.

Some days you ask, "Why me?" But the real question is "Why not you?" God has proven time after time that he can accomplish unlikely things in unlikely places through unlikely people when they are faithful.

Continue on, faithful one. The task is too big for you alone, so fall on Jesus and hold tight to the hands of others called into the breach.

Won't it be sweet on that day when our Savior embraces you and says, "Well, done!"

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 
Ephesians 6.10

With Love,

An Urban Missionary

"Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop,
Within a yard of hell."
- C. T. Studd

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