Praying for my Pastor
After almost four years I stepped down as Senior Pastor. It was a good decision. It was the right decision. I continue to pray for the church and its members everyday just as I did while I was their pastor. For the second time in my ministry I have the opportunity to serve on a church staff. Even though I, and my new church, accept that this may just be a transitional ministry position I am committed to being the best staff member possible.
One of the most important lessons that I learned as Senior Pastor is that the pastor is constantly under attack and rarely receives the encouragement that he needs to remain motivated. As a church we need to do a better job caring for our pastors and their families. So, as a staff member, I am committed to the following:
- I will pray for my pastor every day. Prayer is the greatest gift that we can give to our pastors. Hebrew 13:17 says that the pastor ‘keeps watch over our souls’ and this is a monumental task that carries limitless weight and burden. The opportunities to pray for the pastor are endless. My regular prayer for my pastor includes rest, peace of mind, mental clarity, and undisturbed study time.
- I will pray for my pastors family every day. Being a pastor is hard. Being his wife is equally as hard. The pastors wife deals with criticism (of herself, her husband, and her children), unrealistic expectations, and is often lonely. Having watched my own wife struggle, I recognize that the role of the pastors wife is vital to the health of the ministry. Love and encourage the pastors wife. Most importantly, the pastors children see how the church treats their dad. In many cases this will affect their spiritual development. I am thankful that my son was in church today. It was his first Sunday in about a year.
- I will pray for my pastors protection. Pastors are under attack in ways that most would not believe. They are not exempt from any of the struggles and dangers that any of us face. The attacks come from all sides. I will pray for my pastors protection from the evil one (John 17:15). Satan knows our weaknesses and he will use them to destroy our ministries.
- I will publicly support the decisions that my pastor makes. Being a pastor is hard. With any leadership role comes both popular and unpopular decisions. Truth is, God has given the pastor a vision for the church. Our duty as the church is to embrace the man that God has chosen and to support the vision that God has given him. I am going to support my pastor - even in the unpopular times. 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.” Just for clarity ‘of no advantage to you’ is a warning against God’s judgement.
- I will pray for my fellow staff members and their families. I am blessed to have been accepted and embraced by the existing staff. They are great guys. They lead great volunteers. For all of the same reasons that I will pray for my pastor I will pray for them. Just by the nature of ministry, they are under attack, over worked, and under appreciated.
The Apostle Paul recognized the hardships of ministry and told the Corinthians, "You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many" (2 Corinthians 1:11). Be determined to love and pray for your pastor and his family.