Check Your Pastor #SundaySuggestion

In case you misread the title of this one, it is not a blog post about cooking – check your pasta! Instead, my suggestion this week is to check in with your pastor or church leader.

In my experience, church leaders can find it very difficult to manage their time and workload. This comes from the fact that they are not merely doing a job, but trying to fulfil a calling. For many church leaders, ministers and pastors, they are rarely off the clock and can be called on night and day for support. While many try to take a day off each week, the demands of a church family can encroach on that time. This is, of course, understandable at times and we cannot schedule our problems to fall on pastor’s working days! However, if a minister is frequently missing out of their time off, then it is only a matter of time before they run out of energy.

How is your #church leader doing? How can you support them this week? #Bible #Jesus #Christianity

Also in my experience, church leaders are not always so good at asking for help. They are so busy ministering to others that they forget they need ministering to as well.

So, this week, why not check in with your pastor. Ask them how they are doing, and if there is anything you can do to support them. You may be able to pray for them, and indeed is something we should try to do regularly. In what other ways can you be a blessing to them?

Perhaps you can offer to take care of their children for the night, giving them and their spouse an evening off? Maybe you can drop them in a meal or two, saving them having to prepare something during a busy period. I am certain there are lots of things that could be done. You might have to draw in the support of other leaders in the church to find out what they really need or to find the best way of supporting them. It could take a bit of effort, but I am sure it would be appreciated.

Many churches in UK, and I suppose it is similar elsewhere, are rather small consisting of fewer than 50 members. If they have their own minister (as many share), that person might be the only member of staff in the church. That can be a lonely position, especially if they are unmarried. In such a situation, ministers can be left carrying the burden of a whole church on their shoulders.

I am reminded of this passage from the Old Testament.

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Exodus 17:10-13 NIV

Moses could not bear the weight of his staff for a long time, so Aaron and Hur came alongside him and supported him. Can you stand alongside your pastor or church leader in a similar way?

Have a great Sunday!

Pray for your Pastor – Sunday Suggestion

Today’s Sunday Suggestion may seem an obvious one, but your pastor/minister/vicar needs your prayer support! I am not a pastor, but have been in church leadership for many years, and let me tell you it is no easy task! You know the phrase, “You can’t please everyone all of the time…”? Well that is sadly apt for church leaders!

If you have a faithful pastor or group of leaders over your church, then you ought to be eternally grateful. I know so many church leaders who have worked themselves sick for the sake of their flock, and now more than ever, pastors and leaders need our help and support.

The Bible encourages us to pray for those in authority over us. Scriptures such as Romans 13 and 1 Timothy 2 direct us to pray for kings and ruling governments, and I do not think it a stretch to include those in church leadership over us also.

A passage I return to when thinking of my own leaders is found in Exodus:

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Exodus 17:10-13 (NIV)

Now your pastor may not be facing a physical battle as the Israelites were (although I bet it feels like that sometimes!) but they need just as much support. Can you be an Aaron or a Hur for them, come alongside and hold up their hands for a time?

How can you pray for them right now? If you are not sure, why not ask them, or send them an email?

Most leaders or pastors would probably like the following to be prayed over them:

  • Prayers for strength, energy and good sleeping patterns
  • Prayers for protection for them and their family; physically, mentally and spiritually
  • Prayers for wisdom and discernment
  • Prayers to help them manage their workload and prioritise
  • Prayers for their own relationship with Jesus
  • Prayers for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their life and ministry

The list could go on and on. If you have other good ideas of how to pray for church leaders, do share them below.

One final suggestion – you might like to set aside a specific day or time to pray for them each week. If your life is like mine, then it can get rather hectic at times. Set a reminder or put a weekly appointment in your diary or calendar so it does not get missed.

Your pastor will be ever thankful for your prayers and support!