Comparing and Pastoring

This past week I preached at my second Easter service. Every time I write that sentence, it’s still surreal! I preach and teach and shepherd people. I don’t ever want to take that for granted.

As many know, culturally, Easter is a big day for churches. It’s big because of what the day represents – the resurrection of Jesus! My goodness! What an amazing truth to celebrate, and culturally (in the West) we get Good Friday off to remember the death of the most important person who has ever lived, died, and rose again (sorry Lazarus, you died again buddy).

It’s also a big day because culturally speaking, it seems that in the our city (at least) people sense some conviction (or is it obligation?) to show up on Easter Sunday. We’re certainly thankful for this as people came in droves this year. Some, of course came late and left early – but no doubt, they heard the gospel (which is what is required of us). Sure we were strategic about how we invited people, but we honestly didn’t do anything any different than a typical Sunday.

But Monday comes after Easter. Just like every Monday that follows every Sunday. The grave temptation is to think your value as a Pastor comes because of how many “showed up” on any given Sunday. But that’s not healthy. At all. Ever.

Jesus was never impressed because of crowds. In Mark 6, there is an account of Jesus feeding 5,000. Talk about a crowd! But following this moment, the Scripture says:

[45] Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. [46] And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. (Mark 6:45-46 ESV)

So on Monday’s, we don’t compare, we pray. What did Jesus pray? I have no idea. But the Bible never gives indication of Jesus praising large crowds – He did marveled at a person’s faith (see Matthew 8:10).

So Pastor, don’t measure your worth on how big the crowd was on Sunday… it’s the wrong scoreboard.

How many are being discipled? How many are “all in?” What is the fruit those you’re ministering to? How many are being equipped? Is the faith of those around you increasing?

Layperson – help your Pastor by understanding the crowd is great, but making disciples is better.