Lifepointe Community Devotional
Green Pastures. Quiet Waters
Don’t Wait Until October
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.” I Thessalonians 5:11-13
I have been thinking a lot about the situation that pastors find themselves in during this time of the Covid pandemic. Many churches have had to close their doors temporarily and when they open attendance will still be very limited until the government gives us the green light to open fully. Some pastors have continued to meet their obligations by preaching from home, the church office, or even an empty sanctuary while broadcasting by way of website videos. Not an ideal situation by any means. I suspect that some pastors may be concerned that perhaps those who have not been able to attend Sunday services may not come back at all. How easy to just read our bibles and pray in our P.J’s. It’s great, but not enough. It’s hard to enjoy Christian fellowship that way. Those things can easily create an atmosphere ripe for discouragement for a pastor.
Pastor Appreciation month is October. It is a period of time set apart for people to show love and appreciation to the pastor of the church they attend. It’s a good idea – as far as it goes. But if that is the only time we express thanks and love to the man that God has placed in leadership in our churches, then no wonder pastors become downhearted, wondering if their dedication and labour is worth it. Of course they are not working to please man. It is a God given mandate, but it is always encouraging to know from the people you serve that your work is appreciated.
Is there anything Christians can do to keep our pastors from becoming somewhat fearful about the future of their churches, to help them to stay energized in the work that God has set before them? Definitely YES!
First of all, remember that your pastor is human. The bible calls believers saints, and the pastor is one of them. However, he is still a person with possible weaknesses, just as are those who sit in the pews on Sunday. He will not be perfect, so one thing we can do is set our expectations dial to read “realistic”.
Pray for him and his family. Pray that Satan would not gain a foothold in his life or the lives of his family members. Satan loves nothing better than to discourage a pastor by having a child wander from the Lord’s ways.
When was the last time you told your pastor that you pray for him and his family regularly – or do you? When was the last time you even asked if there is anything you can pray specifically for in his life and ministry?
Don’t wait until October to send that appreciation card, the phone call or the email to find out how he is doing. Too often we call the pastor only when we need something from him. Try giving a call for the purpose of letting him know you are praying for him and asking if there is anything you can do for him.
Drop off a care package to him and his family. Something simple that will let him know you are thinking of them.
Leave him alone on his day off! (Unless it is a genuine emergency) Just like you, he needs time to do his own thing - to rest, be with his family. Most people have no idea how busy a pastor can be. Just because he is not always in his office does not mean he isn’t working.
Forgive easily. As I said, your pastor is human and is bound to make mistakes occasionally. Pray for him and then get over it.
These things I am suggesting come from years being a pastor’s wife and knowing what life in the fishbowl can be like. Some things have changed since then, thankfully, yet a pastor and his family still have needs, just like you or I. So I encourage you to encourage him – your pastor.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. “ (Hebrews 10. 24, 25)
B. Klassen firstname.lastname@example.org
THERE WILL BE NO “GREEN PASTURES” DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST. I’LL BE BACK, LORD WILLING, IN SEPTEMBER. PLEASE KEEP OUR FAMILY IN YOUR PRAYERS AS WE WORK TOWARD JOHN’S RECOVERY FROM TWO SURGERIES OVER THE PAST YEAR. THANK YOU SO MUCH. BEATRICE.