The role of the pastor is one of the hardest callings in the world.
He is called to be the Teacher, Leader, and Shepherd of God’s people.
Can you imagine the pressure pastors face on a daily basis?
We – as members of the church – only see a small portion of what a pastor deals with on a daily basis. Yet, we, often times, can be some of the most discouraging portion of a pastor’s job.
Our pastors deal with more than we see. Here are just a few of the things that I researched this week:
>>75% of pastors report being “extremely stressed” or “highly stressed”
>>90% of pastors work between 55 to 75 hours per week
>>78% of pastors have been forced to resign from their church, most commonly because of church conflict
>>91% of pastors have experienced some form of burnout in ministry and 18% say they are absolutely fried right now.
Having grown up as a pastor’s kid, I’ve seen more of what my dad goes through on a daily basis than most.
I’ve seen the nights he spends away from home WAY passed church office hours.
I’ve seen the late night, last minute hospital visits and phone calls (sometimes to see or talk to members who have not been the nicest).
I’ve seen him come home discouraged and heartbroken about a situation in the church.
I’ve seen him attend meeting after meeting to ensure the church is headed in the right direction.
I’ve seen him lose sleep at night because of something ONE PERSON is going through.
The list goes on and on.
The bottom line is, your pastor does WAY more than you could ever imagine, and what’s sad is the fact that – even though pastors dedicate so much time to the church and the people that attend – church members rarely think to check on their pastor.
Believe it or not, my friends, our pastors need encouragement.
They need to be uplifted.
They need to be checked on.
They need prayer ( and not just for his ability to preach).
As members of the church and as believers, we should WANT to help our pastors in ANY WAY we can.
PASTORS ARE PEOPLE.
They aren’t some perfect being from Heaven sent down to live perfect lives with perfect families that never have anything go wrong.
They are people working just as hard as you and me to seek out God’s face and God’s plan. While we may just be responsible for a select few people, our pastors are trying to seek God’s face for their personal lives AND their churches.
Can you imagine how hard that is?
There are SO many ways to love on and check on your pastor.
Here are a few:
>>If you have the ability, reach out to your pastor to ask what he needs prayer for.
I’ve seen my dad spend COUNTLESS hours praying for people in the church and for the church in general.
How many people are genuinely praying for him?
Well, we would like to pray, but what can we pray for, Hannah?
Such a good question…
You can pray for his ability to lead.
You can pray for his courage and spiritual wisdom.
You can pray that he has the ability to rest.
You can pray for his protection.
You can pray AGAINST discouragement.
You can pray for his ability to withstand people who do not support him or are just mean.
You can pray for his discernment.
You can pray for his family life.
You can pray for his health.
JUST PRAY FOR HIM – it’s absolutely vital for his ability to lead in the way that he should.
>>We need to work on being encouragers instead of discouragers.
Let me say something that may not sit well with some people:
IT IS NOT YOUR PASTOR’S JOB TO CATER TOWARD YOUR PERSONAL DESIRES FOR THE CHURCH.
As the church, it’s important for us to remember that our job is to ENCOURAGE each other and to reach the lost. If we have issues, we tend to go to our pastor to vent or complain about the issues.
Do you know how discouraging it would be to hear completely negative comments from people you love about something that you pour so much into?
I couldn’t imagine.
We need to work on being encouraging rather than discouraging about things that go on in the church.
It makes sense that you aren’t going to like everything that happens.
Let’s be honest – it’s not really about you.
ENCOURAGE your pastor instead of complaining to him.
>>We can try saying thank you every now and then.
How uplifting is it for you when someone thanks you for your hard work?
I can only imagine how much it would encourage a pastor to hear a “thank you” every now and then.
Again, a pastor’s job is not an easy one, and most of the time, his effort is going into doing positive things for church members.
Say “thank you” for that.
>>Church members – we HAVE to work on SUBMITTING to the leadership of our pastor.
Most churches – when they hire a pastor – have a hiring process that must be done before someone can be brought on full-time. This – most of the time – includes a search committee, a LOT of meetings and meet and greets, a sermon preached in view of a call, and then a voting process. WHEN the pastor is voted in, he finally takes on all the responsibility of the pastor.
Church – we VOTE HIM IN. We VOLUNTARILY give him the position of leadership for us.
Why do we have such a hard time trusting that he is seeking God’s face concerning EVERY SINGLE DECISION.
Here’s the bottom line – if the Bible ISN’T being tossed out, Jesus IS being glorified, and people ARE being loved on, just submit.
>>STOP THE GOSSIP
When someone is in a position of leadership, there are going to be things said.
Leaders take A LOT of heat.
Please work to help your pastor out by only discussing things that ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
DON’T be the person causing the problems.
Yes, I’m referring to you – person who is consistently upset about SOMETHING and saying that the pastor isn’t justified in what he’s doing.
Don’t be that person.
Don’t be the person that is adding fuel to the fire.
Be an encourager.
Put the fire out.
Growing up with a pastor for a dad I’ve see a lot that others don’t see.
I’ve seen the human side that other people seem to forget about.
My dad is one of the most genuine, caring, loving, and Christ-fearing pastors out there. Because of him, I have a standard for what I believe a pastor should be doing.
I feel sure MOST pastors are genuine, caring, loving, and Christ-fearing.
I KNOW most pastors out there are trying their best to do what is right for God, their congregation, and for themselves.
Don’t do them a disservice by not loving on them, checking on them, encouraging them, uplifting them, etc., etc., etc.
He’s doing his job as your pastor.
Now, you need to do your job as a believer.
“A pastor never gets to say, ‘I’m off duty.’ He never gets to punch out at five. He never gets to have a normal schedule. We don’t know how many sleepless nights they spend on their knees praying for their church. We don’t know how much opposition they face. We don’t know how many family opportunities they miss to meet with hurting people. We can’t possibly carry their burden for them, but we can do what the Bible tells us to do. Pray for them. Encourage them. Support them. By blessing them, we will only be blessed in return.”