I knew an old minister once.… How I envy him.… I am listed as a famous home-runner, yet beside that obscure minister, who was so good and so wise, I never got to first base!
Blessed are the presbyters who have gone before in the way, who came to a fruitful and perfect end; for they need have no fear lest anyone depose them from their assigned place.
Clement of Rome
The discouragements in ministry are not the whole story, as even the most battered and weary pastor will attest. In fact, often in the very midst of the doldrums comes the sudden gust of hope.
"I had a terrible death last week in our congregation," relates Eugene Peterson, pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. "A woman was killed in an automobile accident, and she was only fifty years old. She was such a lively person, so full of life. And the accident was terrible. Five women were traveling together in a van when a big truck plowed into them, and all five were killed.
"The accident happened ...1