It takes great trust in God to be a pastor.  

Pastors often give up much that others enjoy. Taking years of study to prepare. Taking many responsibilities as a leader, yet caring for many as a servant. Available at all hours to people inside and outside the church to listen and care with grace and patience.

Pastor

PICTURE: © Brian Jackson (www.istockphoto.com)

 

"Take time to appreciate your pastors. They are not perfect any more than you.  They are people who have stepped out to trust and obey God as best they can."

Bringing hope and comfort to situations of sadness and tragedy and rejoicing with those who rejoice. Often seeking to bring change for the sake of people who oppose it. Seeking God in prayer with and for people in all conditions of life. Being gentle with the weak, supportive for the broken, patient despite frustration, forgiving to those who are uncaring, gracious to those who are hurtful and yet loving and blessing all people.

Working with others to build community, providing leadership that is humble yet strong, wise and Godly, and being quick to listen, willing to learn, and equipping people for their ministry and releasing them to become leaders.

In the midst of this, seeking to lead their people to engage with their community in new ways, helping them to welcome and share their faith with those outside their congregation, empowering young people into leadership, building relationship with other pastors and churches and even planning toward the future of the church.

Trusting and praising God in the midst of success or failure.

All this without neglecting time with family or time with the Lord in prayer and preparing sermons that will inspire faith, challenge doubt and call people into fullness of life.

Church membersTake time to appreciate your pastors.

They are not perfect any more than you.  They are people who have stepped out to trust and obey God as best they can.  

With all the challenges listed above, your pastor gives of themselves sacrificially in these things because of their love for God and His Kingdom (and not to be mistaken as an employee paid to do them). They come as servants of God who have come in faith to live and serve as members of your Christian family, to preach and call you and others to respond to the Word of God, and to model and coach you can live that out in your personal lives and as a loving Christian community.   

Whoever your pastor is, God will bless you as you encourage them in their ministry and pray for them.  And as you seek God's Word for yourself and respond in faith to God's call on your life in prayer and using your gifts to serve and minister to others – in the Church and in the rest of your life - the more you will understand and value their ministry. 

Take time this week to show they are special.  Encourage and support them and thank them.  Thank God for them and pray regularly for them and their families. And LOVE them.

Maybe plan a special celebration for them at church on Sunday 21st.

Consider how you could thank the pastor and their whole family for the way they all play such a part in the life of the church. Have some people speak of how they have been a blessing. Prepare a thank you card for people to sign.  

Is there some other special way you could join to could encourage your pastor?  Maybe join in providing for a dinner or even a holiday for them?

Pastors: Know that God loves you so much.

Whether things are going well for you or not, He is with you and wants to bless you. He calls you back to the faith and zeal you had when you responded to His call.

If you get overwhelmed with the task, remember that you are human and that the Lord knew who you are when He called you. Your struggles or mistakes do not surprise Him - nor does He judge you. They are invitations to remember that this is His ministry, and He waits for you to trust yourself and the situation expectantly into His hands.  

With our best efforts we cannot make the church successful, and trying to prove we can leads not only to failure, but misses the real call on our lives. His amazing invitation is for us to bring each day and situation to Him in expectant faith, and see Him at work through us to bring fruit and do wonders that are far beyond our ability. His plan is not so much to take away our weakness, but to reveal "His all-surpassing power" in the reality of our human-ness as earthen vessels. This is when everyone's faith is built up and He builds His church.

If disappointment or failure or weariness have led you to think He is far from you, let His Word renew your faith:  "Nothing will separate you from the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8: 37-39)

I pray that you may know for yourself "the riches (treasure) of the glorious inheritance that is in the saints (that is, you!)" (Ephesians 1: 18).

Rev Rob Isaachsen pastored the Anglican church at Dingley, Victoria, for 19 years.  In 1996 he and founded Melbourne Pastors Network, and more recently Transforming Melbourne, fostering unity, prayer and intentional mission across the whole church.  He continues to encourage and support pastors and leaders across Melbourne in their lives and ministries. Rev Isaachsen can be reached at [email protected].