The Weight of the Office

No, I’m not talking about how heavy my study is. I’m talking about the Office of the Holy Ministry. I am really feeling its weight lately, more so than I have in all (count ’em) 6 1/2 years in the Ministry. It is the weight of knowing that I will be held accountable for the souls entrusted to me, and the realization that there are a good many that need to have the binding key applied to them individually, and this I am not relishing, nor should any minister of the Word. The words of Ezekiel frequently come to mind:

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”

There is a reason that James cautions against becoming Teachers, since they will receive a “harsher judgment.” What in the world was I thinking??

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About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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5 Responses to The Weight of the Office

  1. Hi Paul:

    I pray my comments will come across as intended, as caring and intending to help. After reading your blog now for a couple years or so I’ve noticed a trend. Your reactions to the difficulties of the Ministry are emotional. I don’t say this necessarily as a criticism, in fact, I’m the same way and I know many pastors are as well. In fact, if it weren’t the case I might wonder what kind of pastor he is. But I think the key here in your feeling the weight of the office is not to concentrate on the emotions of it but rather let the emotions spur you on to greater faithfulness. After all, the reason God holds you accountable for the souls entrusted to you is because He is the one who is at work in you. Being faithful doesn’t mean you’re going to do everything right or even faithfully. It means you are going to rely on God to do the work of convicting souls and bringing them to/sustaining them in faith. God works even through our mistakes and even our times of unfaithfulness. When you stand before God on Judgment Day you will appeal to God in the same way every other Christian does: to the righteousness of Christ. This is what makes you a faithful pastor and why you need not carry the weight of the Office. Let Christ carry it. You will continue to struggle and feel the weight of it but even this is God’s blessing to you (and your people) so you don’t get soft or rely on yourself. What you’re going through after 6 six you should pray you’ll be going through after 20 and thirty. It’s always a balancing act of taking seriously your call as undershepherd and resting easy in the fact that the Shepherd is doing all the work.

  2. Rev. Paul L. Beisel says:

    Hi Paul–thank you, thank you for those kind and encouraging words. I think you are right–it is spurring me on to greater faithfulness, Lord willing. I appreciate your comments!

  3. James Robertson says:

    Is there a pastor who does not get discouraged? Pray for stronger faith and remember the prize for which you are running the race. Rest when you can,for endurance is required. Peace in Christ.

  4. Kathy Schulz says:

    Pastor Beisel (Paul),
    A dear friend of mine attends your church sometimes when she is in the area caring for her ailiing father. I spoke with her yesterday. She commented on what a wonderful, caring, Gospel-centered pastor you are. Your care for her–even though her own husband is a pastor–when she is in your area is much appreciated. She said your wife is wonderful, too. So, be encouraged in your work. Sometimes the Lord may be using you in ways you are not fully aware of. Thanks for being there for her.

  5. Rev. Paul L. Beisel says:

    Hi Kathy, thanks for your kind remarks. I know of whom you speak, and just saw her father in the hospital down in Quincy yesterday.

    I think that it is a blessing that the Lord is pressing down upon me the seriousness of this holy Office. It is an indication of growth, and I am thankful that I have been more focused than ever on the task set before me. I only pray that as I learn wisdom, I do not become guilty of pastoral malpractice. 🙂

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