This blog is dedicated to all the amazing men and women who have been chosen to shepherd God’s people!
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 ESV We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
Moses was probably the first “Pastor” we see modeled in the bible. Having grown up as an Egyptian prince he had all the physical comforts of home before he answered the call of God to set His people free! Just imagine leading, what some scholars believe was, over 2 million Israelites for forty years as they grumbled, mumbled, kicked and screamed! And through a desert no less. God used Moses to impart His law to His children.
Amazingly, not too much has changed these days as God anoints men and women, raises them up to shepherd, teach and minister! Pastors today face some of the same trials as Moses as they minister to we modern day Israelites!
These pillars of strength have families, homes, children, health issues, personality glitches, car problems, leaky faucets, squeaky doors. While they are looked at as our pillars of strength they breathe real air and bleed real blood and feel real feelings too. Pastors can be wounded and hurt, stepped on, talked about, ridiculed, put down and yes they can also sin! Pastors are people too!
Similar to Moses grumbling millions, they sometimes have congregations riddled with men and woman that cause dissension, sucking the life out of them. They are wounded when their congregation is scattered and at odds with one another and often find themselves spending time doing damage control rather than being about the business God chose them for.
For every seat in their congregation a pastor has a different set of expectations thrust upon them!
Lets just think about some of those expectations for a moment…
They are expected to do weddings, funerals, baptisms, dedications, counseling, to visit EVERY sick person (well maybe not just every sick person but every hospitalized person). They are expected to teach, preach, and pray for us! Lead the men, lead the women, oversee the children’s ministry and all other church activities, be available when we feel a need to whine, cry, complain, reprimand, criticize, and tell him/ her that we know a much better way to run the church! We then expect our Pastor to anoint us, bless us, lead us, talk to us, listen to us, give us hope, help, healing, love, encouragement, and keep us awake during the sermon!
I admonish my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to first “Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” So when our enemy the devil comes prowling around your church (and he will) seeking someone to devour he will not use you to take a bite out of your Pastor. Test the spirits. Do not let the enemy use you to throw fiery darts at your pastor.
I raise my glass and make a toast to ALL Pastors everywhere and especially to those who God has given me the incredible blessing of knowing personally! Brothers and sisters we will be held accountable one day for those pastors who could no longer walk in their calling because of the verbal abuse and mental anguish we put them through.
We are called to encourage and pray for God’s chosen ones!
I’ve adopted this list partially written by Pastor Dick Hester, to pray for Pastors, and especially for those in my church!
I pray that they would love Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and that their ministry would never steal from them their first love, Jesus Christ.
I pray that they would love and serve their wife and family with glad hearts and that their family would have love for the ministry instead of resenting it for “stealing” their husband and daddy away.
I pray for a passion; for conviction and dedication to their calling and to Jesus Christ.
I pray for wisdom and free access to the Holy Spirit to change course when He nudges.
I pray that they will walk in confidence while kneeling in humility as gentle shepherds who care for their sheep.
I pray for encouragement in their faith and ministry, and against those who attack, slander, harm, or speak evil against them.
I pray that their teaching and preaching will be accurate, true, bold, convicting, encouraging, anointed, and Christ-centered.
I pray that God will guard them from burnout and depression.
I pray that they will never fall prey to envy, jealousy, insecurity, or comparison.
I pray for their holiness and purity, and against lust, affairs, love of money, and pride.
I pray for rest spiritually and physically, and that they know that it is not their ministry they are leading, but God’s.
I pray that they will finish better than they started.
I pray that they will take time to have fun, do things they enjoy, spend time with their wives and play with the kids, and get away often to find peace and solitude.
I pray for God to raise up people around them to assist them, serve them, honor them, encourage them, pray for them, admonish them, and protect them.
I pray they will recognize and encourage those around them to use their gifts to teach, preach, and serve.
I pray that ministry, teaching, preaching, and leading will never become a chore for them, but that it would always be a joy and blessing to serve the Lord and His people with kindness and gladness, and that they would enjoy every aspect of leading, whether easy or hard, for the glory of God.
“I pray these things for pastors or leaders. I hope all of us will pray them for one another.”
Please remember Pastors are people too! People with tons of expectations heaped on them and a huge job description! Please pray for them with me!