Tuesday, September 10 |

Oh No! Is He Sick?!
No, he isn't sick. 'Is he having surgery?' No, he isn't having surgery. 'Is there something going on with one of his family members?'. No, there isn't something going on. 'Ok, let me get this straight. You just want me to pray for him. That's it? Just pray?'

 Why is it that we need a 'reason' to pray for our pastors? (Obviously it isn't enough that we're told in Romans '...strive together with me in your prayers to God for me'). 

In my opinion, it's all about perception. Wrong perception, that is. 

Here are some wrong perceptions that I've had to deal with.
  • Pastors are Men of God. They are so close to God they need nothing from one as lowly as me. 
  • Because they are Men of God, they can't be bothered with trivial conversation from one as lowly as me. They're too busy being Men of God!
  • They know so much more than I do, that to have a conversation with them would just be embarrassing.  
Where does this perception come from? I think it comes from two places. 1) A pastor who (may or may not inadvertently) conveys himself as unapproachable, and 2) The insecurity of the sheep he's trying to pastor. (Notice how many I's and Me's were in the above?)

Pastors are to willingly feed the flock, taking the oversight, not because they want payment, being an example, so they may be presented with a crown of glory. (Synopsis of I Peter 5: 2-4)

If a pastor is genuinely, humbly, doing his job because he loves the Lord and His sheep (Peter, if you love me, feed my sheep), then I believe that love and humility will show through. He won't be unapproachable, or high and lifted up.

But then there's the issue of us thinking he doesn't need anything from the sheep. This is where the phrase 'taking the oversight' comes in. That bit stuck out for me. What exactly did that mean? I looked it up. It means 'to look upon, observe, examine, look after'. In short, to get involved. My pastor said once, 'I don't want to just be your 'Preacher'. I want to be your 'Pastor'. What's the difference? A Preacher only gives out information. A Pastor is involved in your life and wants to see and help you use that information in your life, which he can't do if you don't let him. Now here's where the praying comes in:

I have a family. I have several people I love. I hurt with them, I laugh with them. I watch them grow and I watch them die. I see them change for good and for bad. I pray with them, and play with them. My life is full, (and so is my prayer list), just trying to keep up with everyone. Now, add about a hundred people to that. This is a pastor's life. Wow! What a burden it must be to be privy to so many people's lives!

This should be all the motivation we need to pray, but let's go a step further. Let's say we pray for him, but he doesn't know it. Let's say we talk to him on Sunday, "Mornin Preacher, how ya doin on this fine Lord's Day?" but that's the only time he hears from us. Except, of course, for when one of OUR family gets sick, or has surgery, or needs special prayer for something. Could you do it? Could you be part of all of those peoples' lives and the only time you get a call outside of church is when someone needed something?

My pastor puts his heart and soul into the flock he's been called to feed. Every one of us, at some point, and some of us almost continually, need to be encouraged. Call your pastor. Send him a text or an email. You could even send him a letter (gasp!) God can, and will, give him all the encouragement he needs, but it would be nice to get some from you. Let him know what that message meant to you, how a passage was opened up to you, how you made a decision based on it, how it changed your life, how it encouraged you. 

Your pastor needs your encouragement. Pastor appreciation shouldn't be one day out of the year. It should be every time you think of it.

And you should think of it often.

Fight the good fight,
With an encouraging word to your Pastor.


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