Do you pray for your Pastor?
The pastoral office is an office that is not very well respected today. No one is impressed with our title, education or experience. It was not always the case. Old pastors tell me stories of when they were so well respected that they could show up at one of their members’ homes, uninvited and unannounced, and be welcomed in for dinner by the insistence of a family who was honored that the pastor would pay them a visit.
These are different times now where pastors have lost the respect of their people and the general public. Some of this is self-inflicted. Pastors have fallen into sins, we have neglected prayer and study and therefore have no message from God’s Word for our starving sheep. Our societies view of pastors is now skeptical at best. We are kept at arm’s length and considered strange by our neighbors. Pastors, in general, are no longer esteemed, well-respected men. I think much of this is self-inflicted. We have lost respect because we have not earned it. There is a sizeable gap between how an average church member views their pastors and how the Bible says church members should view their pastor. The acknowledgement of this gap is, I believe, the first step in rebuilding this God ordained relationship in the Church. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
A pastor’s calling is to patrol the outer walls of your soul as a watchman with or without your respect. However, the honor a church member shows his pastor allows him to pastor with Joy. Don’t underestimate the power of joy! Joy is fuel to a pastor’s tank. A joyless pastor can perhaps be effective for a season but he will not endure long without joy which we so desperately need. You, the church member, can provide us with this as we labor for your growth in Christ. 1 Thess. 5:12 says “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you”
All pastors struggle with leading because of the weight of responsibility God has called us to bear. We are often reminded by God of our humanity. Our own sin and unworthiness never escape our thoughts. We are humbled by our lack of talent and mental inadequacies. God reminds us of this to keep us humble. Satan reminds us of this to depress us. Spurgeon said, “who can bear the weight of souls without sometimes sinking to the dust? Passionate longings after men’s conversion, if not fully satisfied consume the soul with anxiety and disappointment.”
Few people can endure failures. Even fewer can endure success. Most do not have the character and self-awareness to avoid the flaming arrow of pride sent by the enemy the day after a victory. King David fell only after his many victories in battle. Jonah sits under a worm-eaten bush requesting that God take his life after his message results in the salvation of 120,000 persons.
All Christians have a target on their backs. Pastors have a larger one. Satan knows that all he has to do is to destroy the pastors to destroy the Churches. All Christians deal with adversity. But the adversity a pastor deals with is greater. I say all this to ask you a question. Do you pray for you pastor?