The Bible is clear on the qualifications that a man must possess for him to serve in the leadership position of a local church. One of the virtues that he must have to be successful as a pastor is patience.
The Patience of a Pastor
When Apostle Paul was instructing Timothy about the essential virtue of patience, he was conveying the truth about what Timothy needed to possess to thrive as a pastor of a local church.
I do not think or believe that a pastor can be successful in his calling without being patient.
Patience is one of the qualifications that a bishop (pastor) must have, as mentioned in 1 Timothy 3.
1 Timothy 3:3 states: “Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;”
In 2 Timothy, Paul reiterated the significance of having this virtue in Timothy’s life for him to be successful as a man serving as a pastor.
2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
While there are many areas in which a pastor ought to be patient, I can think of the following:
Patient with Sinners:
As a shepherd sharing the gospel with sinners, you need to be patient. They may not understand the gospel the first time, and you may need to try again. If you lack patience, you might give up on them.
Patient with the Saints:
Even though someone is a saint (saved), they are still human and may act like sinners at times. As a pastor, you must be patient with them. Your role is to mature, nurture, and edify the body of Christ, and this requires patience.
Over time, I learned this important virtue of pastoral ministry, though it was a hard lesson to learn.
Being patient with the saints enables you to help many of them become better, whereas impatience won’t be beneficial for the people you are called to help. Some saints may be slackers and unwilling to serve in the church, and dealing with such situations can be challenging.
Patient with Suffering:
Ministry comes with its share of suffering—both personal and public. There will be persecution or tribulation from the ungodly world towards you as a preacher. It’s essential to realize that you cannot control what others do or say about you, but you can control how you respond to it.
Romans 12:12 advises: “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”
In conclusion, patience is a crucial virtue for pastors in various aspects of their ministry. By being patient with sinners, saints, and during times of suffering, a pastor can effectively fulfill their calling to serve and lead the church.