Just Some Thoughts About My Pastoral Heroes

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As I grow older, I’ve been thinking a lot about my pastoral heroes—both those still living and those now with the Lord. Here are some thoughts that come to mind:

  1. These men are some of the most prayerful men I know. Prayer is in their DNA. 
  2. These prayerful men are also most committed to Scripture reading and memorization. The Word of God just drips from their lips.
  3. These prayerful, Scripture-saturated men are some of the godliest people I have ever met. They’re sinners, too, but never have I heard them cross lines with their words or seen them transgress boundaries with their actions. 
  4. These prayerful, Scripture-saturated, godly men are deeply committed to their family. You just know that they see their family as the gift of God they are privileged to lead. Their family adores them, too. 
  5. These prayerful, Scripture-saturated, godly, family-focused men are also some of the most evangelistic people I’ve ever known. It’s fun to watch, actually, how these brothers naturally and passionately move a conversation to Jesus and the gospel. 
  6. These prayerful, Scripture-saturated, godly, family-focused, evangelistic men are also some of the most Great Commission-minded leaders I’ve met. These men have hearts that break over their lost neighbors and over unreached peoples. They make time to travel overseas, and they also call out the called to the nations in their pastoral ministries. 
  7. These prayerful, Scripture-saturated, godly, family-focused, evangelistic, Great Commission-minded men are dedicated to discipling other young men. That is, they do not keep their lives to themselves; they instead pour their lives into the next generation. They can name the men they’re investing in. 
  8. These prayerful, Scripture-saturated, godly, family-focused, evangelistic, Great Commission-minded, disciple-making men rely on the Spirit. All the men I’m thinking of today speak often of the power of the Holy Spirit. They do not hesitate to talk about and rely on God’s presence and empowerment within them. 
  9. These prayerful, Scripture-saturated, godly, family-focused, evangelistic, Great Commission-minded, disciple-making, Spirit-led men also recognize the reality of spiritual warfare. It’s interesting, really, how consistent it is among them—all these men understand that a supernatural enemy wants to devour them. They don’t live in fear of the enemy, but they are ever aware of his arrows. 
  10.  These prayerful, Scripture-saturated, godly, family-focused, evangelistic, Great Commission-minded, disciple-making, Spirit-led, warfare-aware men deeply want to finish well. Some already have finished well, of course, and others realize that the finish line is not getting farther away. What’s most powerful to me is their commitment to fight for godliness all the way to the end. They pray, I suspect, something similar to one of the seven prayers one of my pastoral heroes prays each day: “that I would do nothing that would give the Adversary an opportunity to mock my Lord.”

I realize I’ve just piled up the characteristics here, but I’m simply reporting what I’ve seen. My pastoral heroes follow(ed) God with all their heart, their soul, and their mind (Matt 22:37)—and every area of their lives reflects the Father. Their commitment is hardly a “hit and miss” commitment; they’re all in. 

God, help me to do the same.

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