We’re nearing the end of our summer break. I hope you have experienced some rest this summer.
A busy ministry season in our local churches is about to begin. Ministries start up again, and recruitment is number one on our agendas.
My encouragement to you in the business – do not forget to pray. Especially pray for your pastor.
The famed leadership guru, Peter Drucker, has said, “Not taking into account the US President’s job, the most difficult jobs to be in today in North America is:
A university president’s position
A city hospital administrator’s position
And the position of pastor of a local church.”
Admittedly, I was surprised reading that quote but I’m assuming this leadership guru to corporate North Americans, knew the landscape well. Knowing the terrain well as Drucker did, gives this statement weight. Bill Hybels has said, “Most lay people have no idea how difficult it is to run a church.” The church is one of the most leadership-intensive enterprises in society. The work of the church is building and redeeming lives, which is an intangible process. You never know when you’ve actually accomplished doing this works. The workers are all VOLUNTEERS who can simply leave when disciplined or called to commitment. Even when recruiting workers, the church leader cannot offer monetary incentives or benefits. The best a shepherd can do is promise people work without pay, time away from their families, and IF this goes according to scripture, they will know suffering as part of their reward. Now there’s a benefit/reward package! At time pastors feel alone in the midst of the spiritual battle. They need our prayers.
Moses needed prayer
Moses was one of the greatest spiritual leaders who ever lived. He spoke to God face to face (Exodus. 33:11). Yet, STILL HE COULD NOT DO IT ALONE! He, too, needed support and encouragement for the enormous responsibility that was his. Aaron and Hur recognized his need and helped him. Many in our churches need to recognize the need and come alongside their pastor and pray fervently for him. Ministry is not a one-man-show, but a team effort. Many in our churches need to start partnering with their pastor, especially in PRAYER. For the sake of your pastor’s spiritual/emotional health and the sake of the church’s well-being. Pray.
In Peter Wagner’s book, “Prayer Shield”, he writes: “I’m personally convinced that the following statement is true: ‘The most under-utilized source of spiritual power in our churches today is intercession for our Christian leaders.’”
Preachers Need Prayer
Dr. Wilbur Chapman often told of his experience when he went to Philadelphia to become a pastor of Wanamaker’s church. After his first sermon, an old gentleman met him in front of the pulpit and said, “You are pretty young to be a pastor of this great church. We have always had older pastors. I am afraid you won’t succeed. But you preach the Gospel and I’m going to help you all I can.”
“I looked at him,’ said Dr. Chapman and said to myself, ‘Here’s a crank."
“But the old gentleman continued, ‘I am going to pray for you that you may have the Holy Spirit’s power upon you and two others have covenanted to join with me.’”
Then Dr. Chapman relayed the outcome. “I did not feel so bad when I learned he was going to pray for me. The three became 10, the 10 became 20, and the 20 became 50, and the 50 became 200 who met before every service to pray that the Holy Spirit might come upon me. In another room the 18 elders knelt so close around me to pray for me that I could put out my hand and touch them on all sides. I always went into my pulpit feeling that I would have the anointing in answer to the prayers of 219 men. It was easy to preach, a real joy. Anybody could preach with such conditions. And what was the result? We received 1,100 into our church by conversion in three years, 600 of which were men. It was the fruit of the Holy Spirit in answer to the prayers of those men. I do not see how the average pastor, under average circumstances, preaches at all. Church members have much more to do than go to church as curious, idle spectators to be amused and entertained. It is their business to pray mightily that the Holy Ghost will clothe the preacher with power and make his words like dynamite.”
What an incredible impact a church can make when it’s people pray! Have you ever thought of the potential for your church if you committed to pray for your pastor and church often? Imagine what would be accomplished. How many lost people saved – and saved people transformed? How many pastors would remain in ministry and not flare out, flare out or burn out? Think about it. Better yet, pray about it.
Pastors need prayer: October is “Pastor appreciation month”
In a couple weeks we all have an opportunity to share our appreciation for our shepherds. Hopefully we do this all year round. However, can I encourage you to start thinking and praying what you might do for your pastor(s) during the month of October? Start praying about it today. Bless you.