“For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day, the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened." - Jeremiah 25:3
I've known many pastors who served in smaller churches for their entire career. But, the one pastor that made the greatest impact on my life was my own pastor and mentor. During the days of the Crystal Cathedral in California and many churches with Sunday Schools of thousands, my pastor labored vigorously in a much smaller church for twenty-eight years. It was never the biggest or fastest growing chhrch, but it regularly changed lives for the Lord. I will always appreciate that Pastor George Bogan served where God planted him and he was faithful.
Jeremiah was a servant of God with even greater challenges. After twenty-three years of persistent preaching of the Word of God, no one listened. Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet, because he wept and grieved over the wickedness of his people. There were even occasions when he grew discouraged, as he spoke in Jeremiah 20:7, “I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me.“ But, after all was said and done, he served God where he was planted and he was faithful.
I leave you with two thoughts today. First, know where God has planted you and determine to make a difference for Jesus Christ every day, no matter what the response. As the martyr Jim Elliot once said, "Wherever you are - be all there". Second, your pastor is serving God in a day of incredible spiritual lethargy. After over forty years of pastoral experience I can say, the ministry is more challenging today that ever. With this in mind, pray for him as never before and come along side him in the work of the Gospel...because your pastor is serving God where he was planted and he is faithful.