I want to make a simple plea on behalf of your pastor today. Full-time pastoral ministry is hard, and gets proportionally harder the broader a pastor's oversight stretches in a church. Don't get me wrong on this, there are some major perks that come along with full-time pastoral ministry. I love that I get to invest my life in work that carries an immediate correlation to eternal value. I love that I have been freed to study the Bible and communicate it to others. I love that I have the privilege of entering into other people's lives, whether in celebration or suffering. I wouldn't trade these aspects for anything.
But it's still hard.
Rather than detailing the difficulties of pastoral ministry, I would like to urge you to pray for your pastors.
- Pray that they won't grow weary in doing good.
- Pray that they will find their identity in Jesus, not in their ministry performance.
- Pray that they will be able to learn from critique without internalizing criticism.
- Pray that they will remember the joy of their salvation and find ways to pursue refreshment for their souls daily, so that they can continue to pour themselves out for the sake of the church.
- Pray for their families.
- Pray that they will be able to empathize with the suffering of others without being overcome by the immense weight of that suffering.
- Pray that they will not be crushed by impossible expectations.
- Pray that their repentance will be received graciously and patiently by those whom they fail.
- Pray that God's Word will confront and comfort them each week before they even begin to try to write a sermon from it.
- Pray that they will boldly preach the Word of God; that they will reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching.