I love to go into New York City. I live about 45 minutes away, and approximately once a month I have reason to take a train into Manhattan. I enjoy seeing the people, feeling the energy, and being caught up in something big and merciless for a day.
On the other hand, I know people who work in the city; they rarely, if ever, wish to visit the city on their day off. They go when they must, which is most days. Otherwise, they would rather enjoy beautiful New Jersey.
Pastors have a unique dilemma. We are ministers of the word of God, which is filled with illuminating truth; glorious drama (the “greatest story ever told”); words of life; rivers of living water. It is the book of books. And yet, our day job is to study and teach this book. In fact, I am struck by how vain my job as pastor would be apart from this book. Yet because the study of this book is my duty, it is easy to fail be nourished and refreshed by its pages.
Pastors need spiritual disciplines as much as anyone. And pastors, as much as anyone, need to cultivate not only disciplined reading but delighted reading. I encourage you to pray for your pastors. You need them to communicate God’s word effectively, and they need you to pray that their own study would not create in them a harder – rather than softer – heart.