An editorial I read this week quipped that nobody reports on the planes that land safely every day. Point taken. In the same way, nobody ever reports on the pastors who labor in obscurity, quietly fulfilling their ministries. They will never be known by the world, but they are known by God.
I visited with a pastor this month who took on a small church that couldn’t afford to pay him much. The church has grown, and so has the budget. Instead of taking more money, he encouraged the church to increase their givings to other ministries, including our church plant. He is not a famous pastor or a well-paid pastor, but he’s a generous and faithful pastor. That counts.
I had lunch with another pastor this month who’s had an effective ministry. He’s one of the best leaders I know, and a faithful man of God. He should be well-known, but he’s not. He told me that he chose long ago to reject the invitations to build a name for himself. Instead, he’s kept his head down and made that local church his main work. He could have travelled the conference circuit, but instead he’s been content to be a local church pastor. That counts in God’s eyes.
I keep meeting people who are remarkable for being unremarkable. They have chosen to serve rather than to make names for themselves, and have chosen to give rather than to keep what could have been theirs.
An interviewer once asked Edith Schaeffer, “Who is the greatest Christian woman alive today?” She replied, “We don’t know her name. She is dying of cancer somewhere in a hospital in India.” Who is the greatest pastor alive today? We probably don’t know. It’s possible that this pastor is unappreciated and feels like a failure. But God knows. This pastor will never be known by the world, but is known and loved by God.