It seems these days that many people around me are contemplating entering into full time ministry. But the theme of this year’s Bethlehem Conference for Pastors, How Must a Pastor Die? The Cost of Caring Like Jesus, offers us (especially me) an important reminder.
It says something about what I think the world needs from the Christian church. It isn’t the power of political influence. It is the power of being willing to take up our cross and suffer with Jesus on the Calvary Road. “If when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:20-22). I don’t think church-growth and church-planting seminars should wave the banner: “Come have fun working for Jesus,” but “Come discover the meaning of ‘sorrowful yet always rejoicing’ (2 Corinthians 6:10).”