Recently I ate lunch with someone new to pastoral ministry.
He has served for years in campus ministry but just took his first position in a local church.
"I never realized how hard it is to be a pastor," he said. "It's nothing like campus ministry."
"How are they different?" I asked.
"Well, at a university, I never had students tell me how to do ministry. But in this church you wouldn't believe how many people have told me how to do my job."
One hazard for the soul of pastors is finding ourselves in situations in which we must choose—please God or please people. That sounds like an easy choice, except that the people are often godly, have convictions, and pay our salary.
Every leader for God has faced this dilemma. Saul, for example, had a Philistine army come against him with "soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore." Saul's soldiers began to desert. He was soon going to be attacked and killed, and the entire country would be lost. The only thing Saul could do, he thought, was ...1