Church leaders endure great pressure.
They are criticized, work for sub-par wages, and because of small budgets, many pastors do not have adequate retirement. However, a relatively recent study reports that over 70 percent of pastors are happy with their calling.
Amazing! Give pastors credit – they endure a lot, carrying a great burden for us and our families, and are happy doing it.
Let’s pray for pastors and church leaders so that they will be encouraged, be found faithful, and preach a bold and unerring gospel message.
Jesus can strengthen you through the gospel and the preaching of your pastors (Romans 16:25, OGV [Old Guy Version]).
Below are four ways that we can pray for our pastors…
- Pray that they feel encouraged.
I was sitting in a room with church leaders recently and many of them said that they had been through the most difficult time of their ministry in the last year. No, not during the Covid year of 2020 – the last year.
Let’s consider something that we can do to encourage our pastors this week.
- Pray for their families and children by name.
The pastor’s ministry vitality will be impacted by the spiritual health of their family.
Being raised in the fishbowl of ministry is not easy for a church leader’s children. The pastor’s spouse can be overshadowed by the pastor’s ministry. Families of the pastor often hear criticism of the pastor in the hallways of a church.
Let’s think of doing something for both our pastor and pastor’s family this week to encourage them.
- Pray that our pastor makes us mad every now and then.
Good preaching should sometimes irritate. We should feel challenged, convicted, and uneasy during sermons.
That’s good preaching.
Obviously, we shouldn’t snipe or complain, but be thankful that our pastor is preaching a gospel that narrowly focuses on the Lordship of Jesus and also teaches the love of God that can change lives.
Consider this week… in our conversations, speak blessings and not criticisms of our pastor.
- Pray that our pastor takes a break!
Pastors need rest.
When I was a pastor for 49 years, many planned vacations or retreats were interrupted by emergencies at the church. I admit that a few times when I needed space for myself, I didn’t answer a call, email, or text.
Yes, I might have ignored you!
I say this with love, especially if you are the culprit, but I’ve been interrupted after normal working hours by the following requests…
- Do you have the mobile number of my best friend? I lost it.
- Can you get the owner of a local graveyard to unlock the gate so I can tour it tonight with a friend at night?
- Can you drive me to Dayton to the emergency room? I don’t want to wake my spouse.
- Can you postpone your planned wedding anniversary vacation with your wife to officiate my wedding?
We might feel the church in America (and around the world) is weak and not living up to what we expect. It’s easy to blame pastors, as they are easy targets.
They also don’t retaliate!
What can be done? Pray! As the health of church leaders goes – so goes the health of the church.