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There is one quote that celebrates a vital part of a pastor’s life better than any other.

The quote isn’t in the Bible but it’s impart is divine.

The 140 words inspire me to tenacity every time I read them.Roosevelt in-the-arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

While Roosevelt was a lifelong devotee to his Christian faith he was certainly not talking specifically about pastors when he uttered those words at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1910.

However, if you can get past the gender insensitivity, his words are a rallying cry for anyone with the faith and obedience to accept the calling of “Pastor” and enter the arena of ministry.

In The Arena of Ministry

You are a Pastor.

You know what its like to strive valiantly. Fight the good fight.  Dare greatly.

You also know the voice in your head that says, “You’ve come short, you could have done better.”  “You should have prayed more.”

Most pastors know the latter self-accusations all too well.  The “again and again” times are clear memories.

3 Things Every Pastor Needs To Hear

1. “Sweat, blood and tears are your diet.”

Hard work is a given.

Some days you get beaten down by the expectations that your prayers should fix everything or by the anonymous who want what they want in the way they want it.

The brokenhearted feel you understand them but are not quite sure why.

Countless prayers and hours invested in ministry may produce fractional dividends. Divided factions can undermine glorious opportunities.

Hold cynicism at bay.

“Keep your head in all situations, endure hardship…” 2 Timothy 4:5

2. “Great enthusiasms and devotion are your calling.”

To go from disappointment to letdowns without a loss of enthusiasm is the greatest evidence of the Holy Spirit’s power.

Devotedly keeping a candle lit by the front porch of hell is a vital pastoral enthusiasm.

To see ONE soul spared from perishing is invigorating.

“The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

3. “The call to ministry is your fuel.”

You are tired and discouraged, yet somehow you rise again with the sun.

Yesterday is forgotten, today is a brand-new day and you go about your ministry with all the enthusiasm of the day you first heard the call.

Not everybody has that kind of heart – the ability to bounce back from setbacks.

But you do.

You are a Pastor.

Pastor, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called you heavenward in Christ Jesus. Please leave a comment below and forward this post to your pastor or a leader. Thank you.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Vahen King says:

    Thank you pastor Bob for the empowering encouragement.
    I’ve shared these words with the ladies I’m doing a “Lead Strong” Devo with. Loved the T.R quote, but what also JUMPED OUT at me was…”To go from disappointment to letdowns without a loss of enthusiasm is the greatest evidence of the Holy Spirit’s power.”
    YES AND AMEN. it’s ONLY His strength and power that make this possible.
    Stay in the ring pastor Bob, what you do MATTERS

  • Bob Jones says:

    Such a good quote, eh? Thanks for reading, Vahen and starting the conversation. You know what it’s all about to be in the ring.

  • Ronald Sprentz says:

    Excellent admonition!

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