CHRISTIANS-Pastor Your Pastor 365 Days a year!
By Rev. Ralph T. Newell
October is Pastor’s Appreciation month! Have you ever thought about who pastors your pastor? There are millions of members that pastor’s minister to and preach and teach so their soul will be fed. They baptize you and your children, bury your dead; visit you and family when you are sick; counsel with you and visit your sons and daughters in jail; bring comfort when you are hurting; nurture you when your marriage is rocky and husbands or wives leave you and children are left broken etc. But who is there to pastor the pastor? Pastors hurt! Is it possible that you do not see your pastor as human just as you are? Do you think that the pastor lives in heaven and is let down to earth on a fancy spiritual rope to take care or your needs? These are thoughts to ponder and I have some insights to share with you.
Jesus told his disciples; “my command is this: love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:12-14 NIV). Was this directive just for the disciples? I think not! The Apostle Paul, as a pastor, needed help and he refers to Christians who ministered to him. “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them” (Romans 16:1-4 NIV).
Please take time to read Romans 12 for insights on ministering to each other and to your pastor as well. “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you” vs.3; “So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” vs. 5; when it comes to your gifts, “if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is encouraging, then encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, do it generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy let him do it cheerfully” vss. 7-8. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” vs. 10 NIV. Your pastor needs you; “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching” 1st Timothy 5:17 NIV.
Pastors and members, ministry is a two way street. The pastor has to have a spirit that will receive ministering and have to be humble enough to permit that relationship and trust from a member; to pastor the pastor does not have to be an ongoing relationship like the pastor has with the membership. Members you receive but what do you give back? Do you ask your pastor, what can I do to help you in ministry and in your personal life? Why not ask the pastor if you can pray with him/her for the ministry and their family. Then pray with them out of your love for God.
Members here are seven steps you may consider as you minister to your pastor. 1. Intercede in private prayer him/her; 2. Make genuine contact with your pastor to offer assistance; 3. Ask your pastor what you can pray for with him/her; 4. Learn the power of confidentiality, what you share is between you, them, and God; 5. Seek direction from God on how to minister to your pastor; 6. Periodically call to check in and encourage your pastor; 7. Personally call and pray with your pastor from time to time.
Will you be bold enough to minister to your pastor? Try it and watch God move mightily in both of your lives. Let God’s Power, Presence, Protection, Prosperity and Peace be with you!