Day 6: The Struggling Pastor - Praying & Going
Day 6: The Struggling Pastor
“Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
The pastor thought it was an unusual request. I told him I wanted to review his calendar of the past 60 days with him. He had asked me to help his church in a consulting relationship, but I knew a healthy church required a healthy pastor.
Here are some of this pastor’s activities the past 60 days. He did two funerals and one wedding. He spoke at three community events outside the church. He had 14 counseling appointments. One of them was with a couple whose teenage son was doing drugs daily. Another was with a businessman fighting depression. Yet another was with a middle-aged couple who both became followers of Christ after the pastor shared the gospel with them.
He made 17 hospital visits and two visits to assisted care facilities. He was in 12 meetings at the church. He met with two men at the church who were in deep conflict with one another. He visited his best friend in his home. The friend was dying of cancer.
Those are just some of the ways this pastor utilized his time in the past 60 days. On top of these activities on his calendar, he had numerous spontaneous meetings, calls, emails, and texts. And he spent over 100 hours in sermon preparation.
Pastors are busy, usually quite busy. The microstresses they experience every day can mount and lead to frustration and even depression.
In the midst of these busy hours, pastors are expected to lead the church in evangelism. Almost every church that is reaching people with the gospel has a pastor who has that ministry as a priority.
So, what can you do for your pastor? Though it is stating the obvious, you can pray for your pastor. I was once pastor of a church where nearly 100 people prayed for me every day around noon. Regardless of where they were or what they were doing, they took 30 seconds to a minute to pray for me. That era of my pastoral ministry was some of the most fruitful times of my life.
You can also encourage your pastor. One suggestion is to send your pastor a note when you learned something from the sermon. Be specific. Let the pastor know why that particular teaching meant something to you. Perhaps you could send that note of encouragement twice a year.
I have heard from many pastors who tell me that they wonder if the church members are getting anything from their sermons. When you provide specific ways you have learned something from the message, you become a tremendous encourager to your pastor.
Most church members would love to see their churches reach more people with the gospel. Consider how you can help your church by praying for your pastor and encouraging your pastor.
You just might see a pastor more motivated with more time to lead and equip the church to do the ministry of evangelism.