A Pastoral Parable

Two men left home to plant a church in a city of need. The first one to arrive dreamed of a city reached for Jesus with the gospel. Through the first pastor, people came to know Jesus, believers gathered, and a community of Jesus followers was born. It was a slow work, but it was happening. His prayers were being answered.

In time, he began to meet with the second one, at the time a church planter. He did so to encourage this second pastor in his fledgling work. The old-timer and the newcomer prayed for Jesus to reach the city. Through the newcomer, people came to know Jesus, believers gathered, and a community of Jesus followers was born.

Ten years later, the one who had come first serves as a pastor of an “ordinary” church. Its two hundred-plus members demonstrate the love of Jesus in ways that did not exist there ten years earlier. The newcomer who came second pastors an “epic” church. Its thousands of members and multiple sites around the city demonstrate the love of Jesus in ways that did not exist there ten years earlier.

The prayers of both men were answered.

Why is one of them sad?

Why then does only one of them receive our invitations to speak at our conferences and give us advice?

(Excerpted from Zack Eswine’s book The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus).

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