There are some hard things to being a pastor. One of the more frustrating is the lack of contact I have with those who haven't bowed their knee to Christ. Unlike the rest of God's family, most of my time is consumed with ministering to Christians, not working alongisde unbelievers. This is, of course, mostly my own fault for lack of diligence and zeal.
There are some really cool things to being a pastor, too. It's a great blessing when God providentially grants me opportunities to preach the gospel. This has happened twice in the last four days. On Saturday I got to do my first wedding service (!) with a couple who's been worshipping with us for a few months. The vast majority of the people at the wedding weren't believers, and the couple asked specifically that I preach the gospel (who can no to that?). So, after giving them both an exhortation from the Word, I preached the gospel to those there, using the marriage as a picture of Christ & His church and inviting them to be joined to the Righteous One in faith.
Then yesterday we got a call from a local family whose mother/grandmother had just passed away. They were looking for a short, silver-haired man who might have done a funeral for someone they knew many years ago. Well, no one by that description here, so they asked for one of us to come and speak to the family - they didn't have money for a funeral; again, who can pass that up? So, late Tuesday afternoon I headed out to meet and pray with this family. There were about 12-15 people there, two of whom may have been Christians. We talked about grieving and giving thanks for life, then I led them through reflection on their own mortality and need for a Savior - we began in Genesis and ended with the resurrection of Christ.
I was incredibly thankful because being a pastor - something which often closes doors of conversation - in these two instances opened wide the doors of people's hearts. I didn't have to develop a spiritual conversation, because it was already there; I just got invited into the middle of it. If you have space in your prayer time, would you pray for fruit from these two proclamations of the gospel? If you have further time, would you pray that God might continue to open these kinds of opportunities for the gospel?
At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison - that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Colossians 4:3,4