Pastoral Joy Made Complete

Monday, March 22, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:1-3)

In this text, the Apostle Paul shared both a universal passion and a pastoral sentiment. His universal passion was to see all the Body of Christ share in common love, compassion, like-mindedness, and purpose.

As with all biblical mandates, this must be lived out locally among congregations of believers. The greatest challenge of pastoral ministry is to unite the congregation around a God-ordained vision, and behind a senior leader, such as the pastor of a local church.

One of the greatest joys is to see that unity of like-mindedness and purpose. Paul made his appeal directly to the Philippian church by saying, "Make my joy complete..."

One of the greatest heartbreaks is to witness a failure in common love, compassion, like-mindedness, and purpose. Sometimes this failure is due to a lack of understanding or sincere shortcomings in one area or another. At other times, the failure is do to what Paul called "selfish ambition or vain conceit."

Regardless of the source of the failure, leaders and believers must embrace biblical, Kingdom imperatives as well as local church mission/vision priorities as articulated by senior leaders.

Paul made a similar appeal to the Corinthian church,
"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought." (1 Cor. 1:10)

This is an appeal worthy of our Lord Jesus Christ and for all who love Him and His church.