For more reading on long-term faithfulness in ministry with practical wisdom from veteran pastors, see Faithful Endurance: The Joy of Shepherding People for a Lifetime from The Gospel Coalition.
In this video, Juan Sanchez points out that we often judge the faithfulness of a pastor based on the how he ends his ministry; however, that faithfulness is shaped over thousands of steps of faithfulness in their walk with God and his people.
Below is a lightly edited transcript of the video above. Before quoting, please check the video to ensure accuracy.
I often have the opportunity to talk to young pastors, and they ask me about pursuing a life-long faithfulness in ministry. I think sometimes when we’re young, we have these grandiose visions of what our ministries will be like. And what I want to do is slow us down and think about the reality that when we look at our spiritual heroes, be they dead or alive, and we see a lifetime of faithfulness in them, we tend to just look at the end of their life. What we forget is the reality that where they ended up was a process of thousands of daily steps of faithfulness.
And the greatest encouragement that I can give my brothers who are beginning in this journey of pointing others to Christ is that they should pay attention to the daily faithfulness of a thousand steps. It’s faithfulness in relating with Christ, communing with the triune God, resting in the Spirit, reading the Scriptures, drinking deep of the well of God’s revelation for us in Christ, of living in community with a faithful church where you can live life together as a church. It’s faithfulness in community, in how you love one another, speak to one another in love about sin, and look to other brother pastors who can speak into your life where you can link arms together.
And so a lifetime of faithfulness is pursued in the daily thousand steps of faithfulnesses.