Minnesota has a great pastoral team. Let me tell you why.

Our pastors love Jesus and have a burden to share the story of His love with other people. Our pastors are passionate about evangelism. Between now and the end of 2014 every pastor will be holding or hosting evangelistic meetings somewhere in their district.

Our pastors have a shepherd’s heart. A good shepherd is constantly aware of the sheep’s need for good pastureland, for green grass and fresh water. So the good pastor is constantly seeking to provide fresh spiritual nourishment for parishioners. Many times this will manifest itself in long hours late at night or in the early morning seeking out and preparing the spiritual food to serve the following Sabbath.

A shepherd’s heart is also manifested through caring for hurting and wounded sheep, binding up their wounds and encouraging them as they grow in spiritual vitality.

Our pastors have a “whatever it takes” attitude.  This is evidenced by the fact that many of them are handling three or four church districts. This means they are doing a lot of driving and spending long, sometimes lonely hours on the road as they travel to their various responsibilities. Far too often this also means hours away from their families. This attitude also manifests itself when the pastor visits a discouraged or hurting member even if it’s inconvenient (for example, if the member happens to live at the opposite end of the district).

Our pastors maintain a cheerful, positive attitude. Some other pastors talk discouragement. There could be many factors that impact that attitude. Like those pastors, our pastors are sometimes misunderstood and criticized. Like others, our pastors may find themselves the subject of cruel gossip. Like others, our pastors sometimes face financial difficulties. Every pastor I know could receive a higher monthly income doing something else for a living. Yet our pastors press on courageously.

But, these four qualities are not unique to our pastors. Every serious pastor in every conference can identify with each of these qualities. Our pastors are not unique. They are not super-heroes. But, they do have a super spirit—a spirit of teamwork and co-operation.

Thank you, pastors, for being a part of a great spiritual team!

Sherman McCormick is ministerial director for the Minnesota Conference.