Thursday, May 17, 2007

Battling the Devil

Earlier this month, the 4-year old class here at MorningStar Daycare and Preschool was doing a project where they were using the outline of a hand in order to identify different people that they were going to pray for. As you can see from the posted picture, one of the fingers of the hand was to represent a preacher or teacher. The child was to draw a picture on the palm of the hand of the preacher or teacher that they were going to pray for and show why they needed prayer.

One child drew the picture you see. The teacher asked the child which preacher or teacher this was a picture of. The child responded by saying that this was a picture of “Pastor Scott” (surely you can see the resemblance). The teacher then asked what Pastor Scott was doing in the picture which showed why we needed to pray for him. The student answered, “He’s running fast because he’s battling the devil.”

Talk about “out of the mouth of babes.” I’ll be honest. There are many days in which I feel like running as fast as I can because the battle is tough. I’m really not sure that the average person understands what a pastor feels and what he goes through. Recently, I was directed to a blog entry written by Steven Furtick who is the lead pastor of Elevation Church of Charlotte, North Carolina. He wrote an entry about pastors entitled, “Some times we’re scared.” When I saw that title I had to read it and I found myself nodding affirmatively all the way through it. Truth is there are many times I really feel scared as I lead Grace Church. Below is an exert from this blog which makes me glad that even a 4-year old realizes that this pastor needs prayed for because he’s in a battle with the devil:

“Your pastor won’t appreciate me telling you this, because we preachers like to look cool and confident. But if he’s a good pastor, here’s the deal: Every single day he seriously doubts whether…he has any…clue what he’s doing. That’s because if he’s a good leader, he’s always stretching. He’s always living in the discomfort zone…the place between what God has said to do and the understanding of how to do it. He wonders all the time if he has what it takes to do what God said to do. Daily he asks God under his breath: ‘Did I get this right? Are we headed in the right direction here?’ Every Saturday night he wonders if all the people will show up again and every Sunday afternoon he’s amazed and humbled that they did. Oh yeah, you should also know that he feels like his sermon stunk a lot of Sundays and he wishes he wouldn’t have said some of the things he said well into Monday afternoon. I have been around some guys with very well known ministries lately, and it turns out they’re scared a lot of the time too. One of them said he often feels like ‘a kid on a bike riding downhill on gravel.’ Another one said he stands up and tells the people ‘Let’s go!’ and then gets in his car and asks God, ‘Where are we going?’ But mark this: Your pastor wouldn’t have it any other way. A vision that didn’t make him feel schizophrenic sometimes wouldn’t be worth sacrificing for. A ministry that didn’t require uncertainty wouldn’t be worth getting out of bed for. Here’s to being a leader who’s terrified a lot of the time. And here’s to the corresponding peace and courage that only God can provide.”

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