A man who stays at a church a long time serves the church in good times and bad.
Most churches have these waves. If a man only comes along when things seem to be on the upswing and then leaves as the hard times begin, the church will probably develop wrong ideas about both the man and the church. There are great benefits for a church to have a leader that endures the hardships with them. That pastor might not look like the super successful spiritual leader if he hangs around through the hard times as well as the good times, but the reality of his life and ministry will stamp the lives of those in that church in a profound way.
Individual spiritual journeys also have ups and downs. When a man shepherds the same flock with other godly leaders, he walks through the highs and lows with people. Since the Holy Spirit is working to make all Christians more like Jesus, the real Christians will come back around when they backslide. It would be sad to see the hardships of people and not get to experience the joys of restoration. Over many years, a faithful pastor sees it all.
Finally, pastors that serve in the same church for many years are personally invested in the church. While it seems nice for a new pastor to say he is part of the family, instead of just an outsider hired to do a job, it takes time for those words of commitment and connection to become reality. After enough time everyone will say it is our church family. We are seeking to serve the Lord together.
When a man just passes through church after church for two years at a time, can he even remember what it is like to personally belong to a church family?
Being a pastor brings many blessings. When God allows and strengthens a man to serve the same church for a long time, those blessings multiply. Always remember to pray for your pastor. Always be the kind of church member that encourages your pastor through good times and difficult times, all for a long time.
This article originally appeared here.