Erik a young pastor recently visited a pastor who has buried 200 members. No, he wasn’t the village undertaker. And no, his cooking wasn’t that bad. However there is a lot to learn from this profound story. Here goes….
I was recently spending some time with a minister who is nearing retirement. He was going through his office and packing up boxes, books and other personal items. He directed me to a large box and told me to take a look. I saw dozens of manilla file folders with names on them.
“What are all these?” I asked.
“Funerals.” The pastor said.
“How many?” I inquired.
“Over two-hundred.” He soberly replied.
There in his office I was struck with so many emotions. Here stood a man who has buried over two hundred of his parishioners. And here I stand, a young-buck having buried a grand total of zero of our members.
The seasoned pastor went on to tell me that he cannot throw this box away because in every folder is a life.
“In every folder is a life, a soul. And in each one is a piece of my life.” He said, holding back obvious emotion. I almost lost it too.
It is good for pastors to think about this. In particular it is good for young pastors to think about. Here are a couple of thoughts:
1.) Pastors have a unique privilege (responsibility) to care for people through all areas of life (birth, marriage, and death). We are there to celebrate, counsel, instruct, protect, console, and grieve. All the while we are to faithfully represent God and his Word. There is no escape from this type of intensity.
Application: Pastors must rejoice in and faithfully engage the duty of being a steward.
2.) Our people will die. Unless Jesus returns in their lifetime, every one of your church members will die. And a pastor, maybe you — maybe another, will bury them. How well am I preparing people to live today with the end in mind?
Application: Pastors must prepare people to die to the glory of Christ.
For the rest of the story continue here. (HT Ordinary Pastor)