I have the joy of visiting with pastors in many different churches. Sadly, not all of them are blessed to serve a church like Oak Ridge Baptist Church. I often save links to articles like the ones below to pass on for encouragment. Whether you are a pastor or a member of a congregation, my prayer is that these links will engage your mind and encourage your heart.
God’s sovereign purposes are not dependent on your maturity, of course, but the New Testament often speaks of the significance of a pastor’s spirituality to the health of his congregation. Consider the following seven reasons motivation for the pursuit of godliness and guides to praying for your own growth.
I make no claim that pastors are perfect people. We mess up. We can be arrogant and uncaring at times. At the same time, though, most pastors I know are genuine, faithful followers of God who love their congregations. They’ve learned, too, that the work of pastoral ministry often carries heartache with it.
We’ve seen these lists of how to pray for your pastor before—for protection, humility, grace, etc. But I wonder, in light of the unique struggles pastors seem to endure and the consistent headlines of pastors leaving the ministry, if there are additional prayers we might add. These are the five prayers I will begin praying for my pastor and pastors everywhere:
Pastors, if you feel the incessant desire to overwork yourself, don’t be surprised if your congregation, your body, and especially your family suffers. You may find that your children leave the faith because they feel the church stole their father. In reality, God has not called pastors to be supermen. I repeat. Pastors, you cannot be Superman! Here are a few reasons why.
I can assure you that you’re not the first pastor to wrestle with the question of whether you’re really called to pastoral ministry. It’s an issue that haunted me throughout virtually the entire span of my first full-time pastorate. I spent countless hours in prayer and conversation with fellow pastors over the matter. Let me tell you a bit about those circumstances so we can ground the issue in real-world ministry, then I’ll tell you what drove me to press on.
Every pastor can relate—at least on some level—to such a week. Some weeks, being a pastor feels like riding an emotional roller coaster. Like the apostle Paul, we have days when our concern for the church is a daily pressure (2 Cor. 11:28). But also like Paul, we have moments when we’re on our knees praying with others, weeping together on account of the gospel’s blessings (Acts 20:36–37).
Your pastor is a shepherd, but he’s still a sheep. You can serve him by making sure he’s able to attend conferences, workshops, and pastoral groups that will build him up. Shepherd him even as he seeks to do the same for you. I have two brothers in my congregation who are not elders, but whom I nonetheless call or email when I’m struggling. I may not share much other than, “Hey brother, tough day today. Pray for me,” but it’s comforting to know godly brothers are praying for my labors (James 5:16).