The designated hitter for the home team stood and walked to the plate. He grasped the bat tightly in his hands and waited. The moment came and he opened up, swung, and hit the ball right out of the park once again. Another home run! More than that, another game won!
Yet it had largely been the same response all his years in town. The crowd, from beginning to end, was mostly silent. People got up for drinks of water, shuffled between seats, and there were occasional whispers. Few cheers, slaps on the back, high-fives, or thanks. Just stares of disinterest, yawns of boredom, and eyes of distance. Many season ticket holders didn’t even show up.
Did the assembled appreciate his effort and the lonely hours of preparation and practice? Did they acknowledge him throwing his all into his work? Were they aware of his discouragement, his stress, and personal pain? The questions of fault and failure that ran the bases of his mind? Did they even care?
He overheard a fan say, “We pay him. What more does he want?” Another said to his face not long ago, “We don’t want you to get a big head.”
If you were that batter, game after game, how would you feel? What would you do? Every Sunday, this is what many pastors see, hear, and feel from the pulpit.
“It is preaching to sleepy congregations that kills good ministers” Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine (1 Timothy 5:17).