‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’
I posted a somewhat silly post about Peyton Manning and pastors, but the basic question in it remained with me. Then I remembered the bit of Scripture quoted above. It came to me as at least the beginning of my answer.
A pastor — like every other person — should strive to hear those words when his or her life comes to an end.
When I meet the Lord, what will he say?
This is the question that guides the pastor’s work. It is the question that stands as a rebuke to kow-towing to human desires. It is the question that reminds me that only one score sheet ultimately matters. And in this moment or that moment, what I am called to do is to take the action that I discern will most please Christ and most bring me and others closer to him.
That is a rather vague standard — not nearly so directive as our Vital Congregations score card. But it strikes me as the only standard the matters in the end.
When he speaks to me, will he say these words?
Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.