New International Version
Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
God said he will give us pastors after His heart to lead us.
Although no one can know another man’s heart, we should be very careful when we choose our pastors. That is a lot more important than finding the right ‘building’ to congregate in.
I met a very normal looking man on the street who very much needed spiritual help. We sat, talked, and prayed. It was during a week day, so I took him to a beautiful church a couple of blocks away. Happily the doors were wide open and the pastor was inside.
I was ecstatic. I thought it was going to be yet another God experience. After talking to the pastor a few minutes it was obvious that although he didn’t know the guy, he didn’t want to know him either. It turned out to be a very awkward experience instead of a God experience.
I had the opportunity yesterday to work with a pastor who appeared to be a true follower of Jesus. He left a large, wealthy congregation in the city to pastor a small congregation of sugar cane workers. For those who don’t know, agricultural workers make about half of everyone else in the nation. Also, they all have severe kidney problems. Life expectancy for a sugar cane worker is around 35 years.
The people loved him. Everyone loves their pastor but this guy was different. Not so much because of his messages, but because his and his wife’s humility and true caring for the community (notice I didn’t just say flock).
Here are some things that he does that are different from the majority of the pastors I know. We held a medical clinic at his church. The following is what I noticed:
1. He was approachable.
2. He took the hardest job (crowd control). Out of the 50+ medical brigades I have worked for, that is the least desirable of jobs. I usually can’t even find the pastor after the whole thing is over.
3. From what the people said, anyone and everyone in the community felt free to call on him personally if they were in need of spiritual counsel. The whole community seemed to have been in his house at one time or other.
4. He had been in everyone house in the community’s at one time or other.
5. Not only did he see his job as a career but also his passion. Not only to preach at people but to actually talk to them and commune with them.
6. His staff was just like he was.
My take away in Pastor Shopping, besides the obvious like Praying, is;
1. Is he approachable?
2. Is he open to visits?
3. Is he open to conversation?
4. Does he make house calls?
5. Is he open to questions and concerns?
6. Does he happily participate in non-preaching jobs?
7. Is he interested in your well being and problems?
8. Does he initiate conversation?
9. Does he follow up and do small favors?
10. Is he kind?
11. Can he reproduce those values in others?
If the answer is yes to all of the above, it is probable that you have found a pastor that God has chosen for you.