In my lifetime I have known and prayed for several pastors. When I use the word pastor I mean an ordained person who preaches the word of God in a church, whether he calls himself a pastor, priest, or minister. I have learned over the years that the life of a pastor is not an easy life. A wise pastor that I knew years ago said, “If you have a desire to enter the ministry, resist it with everything you have. Then, if God will not let you alone, and you believe God wants you in the ministry, go into it with all your heart.”
I have known relatives who were pastors. My wife’s brother is a pastor in the Anglican Church. My brother was a pastor in an evangelical church for a brief period, but was not ordained. Two of my father’s brothers were well known pastors in the Baptist Church. My Uncle Tom was president of the Baptist Federation of Canada and vice president of the Baptist World Alliance. He wrote books which were distributed in the Baptist Federation. He also wrote hymns that are in the Baptist hymnal. My Uncle Don was not as well known, but I admire him because he became a good friend of the late Jim Read, former president of the Association of the Covenant People.
My father was brought up in the Baptist Church, but switched to the Anglican Church when he married my mother. This was not a big jump for him because his mother was an Anglican. I grew up in the Anglican Church. The pastor of my boyhood church was a man of God. His mother was a follower of the British Israel movement. After he left and moved to another city, I left that church and joined a charismatic Anglican church. That was where I first became aware of the problems pastors have to deal with. The pastor of that church became convinced that some missionary money which the Anglican Church of Canada sent overseas was given to governments that spent it on weapons, so he resigned from the Anglican Church. I left the church soon after that.
The next church I attended was a United church, which was pastored by a man of God. Unfortunately, he was involved in a civil war with elders in the church. By elders, I mean the elected government of a church body, not older people. They were against his having altar calls. He insisted that there was sin in the church and some people had to repent and become Christians. He eventually resigned and started an independent church which I joined. The United church he left died and the building was sold to another denomination.
A few years later the company I worked for asked me to move up to a city in northern Canada to help out there. We moved north, bought a house, and started attending the little Baptist church down the street from us. It was pastored by a man of God who had attended meetings of the Association of the Covenant People when he was a teenager, so he knew about the Israel Truth message. Our friendship was cut very short when the elders in the church asked him to resign. I asked one of the elders what the issue was and he simply said some people in the church had a problem with the pastor. I never heard the pastor preach anything other than salvation, so I do not know what it was all about. I was determined to pray for the pastor, and have been praying for him for fifteen years. The good news is that he had a successful ministry in the town he moved to and also his son went into the ministry and has been successful in his work with young people. We left that little Baptist church after he left and joined a very good Missionary Alliance church.
A few years later, my career required that I move again. In the city where we live today, we attend a Baptist church. There have been other churches I have attended or heard about where the pastor has been fired or asked to resign, not for any sin, but for disagreements with somebody, usually somebody on the board of elders. “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.” I Thessalonians 5: 12-13.