Reverend Dr. JOEL ESTRUTH
The Harbor Herald’s “From the Pastor’s Heart” column has for many years been a platform for local ministers to link Church and community. It is a tradition no longer found in many communities today—pastors don’t often have the opportunity to share their faith perspective freely in print. I have valued the privilege of writing for the paper and working with the Harbor Herald staff.
As you probably know, my wife, Candy, and I ended our ministry at Raymond First Baptist Church last October. We left behind nearly 20 years (19 years, 10 months) of memories and relationships. We arrived in Raymond with our three daughters. Two of them still live in Raymond along with their husbands and six of our grandchildren. So, we continue to have some roots here. We now live in Eatonville — 12 miles from our other daughter, her husband and two more of our grandchildren.
Now, with that background, let me share something I would not have written while pastoring here. I think I can now offer a different slant to strengthen God’s spiritual Kingdom on the Willapa. This is meant for “church” people and everyone else. Pastors have a vital work — very important in every community. I would like to encourage you to think of pastors as God’s gifts given to you. The word “pastor” means, “shepherd.” Shepherds guide their sheep; lead them into green pastures (good spiritual food), lead them beside still waters (provide peace), and walk with the sheep through dark valleys. Shepherds are sources of goodness and mercy.
Remember, pastors spend long hours meeting the needs of their flocks. In fact, they mend fences, bind up wounds, heal marriages and encourage the sorrowing. Another important thing you must remember is the pastors must get their people involved in God’s work in the world. There is always the danger of fatigue in the work of the ministry. Your pastor needs your prayers and support.
Will you become your pastor’s prayer partner? Ask your pastor for work you might do. Will you step up to work alongside your pastor? Join your pastor in serving Jesus Christ! When you build up your pastor, you also build up the church! Encouraged pastors will set their churches on fire!
Perhaps, you have been sitting on the sidelines. Don’t you think it is time to get involved and share the blessings of being a partner with God and your minister? You will be a blessing and you will be blessed abundantly. Your church will be set on fire!
Editor’s Note: Joel Estruth is the director of Joel Estruth Ministries in Eatonville, Wash. This article first appeared on www.hometowndebate.com 719/12. If you would like to respond to this story, go to hometowndebate.com