A Hurting Pastor
Remember your leaders who first taught you the word of God
Terry, a man in his early thirties, was the pastor of a thriving church in a small, mid-western community.
Although he treasures the ministry, Terry and his family passed through circumstances that made his pastoral responsibilities almost unbearable.
Terry's wife experienced her third miscarriage. Each baby's death seemed more unbearable than the last, and their hearts were broken.
A month after the miscarriage, Terry's grandfather died. On almost the same day, construction began on a new parsonage. Each of these situations brought its own stress, still there was no relief from church-related problems, and his congregation continued to call him day and night for prayer and counsel.
One night Terry sat alone in his office, tears welling in his eyes. "Lord," he prayed. "Help me! Right now I'm the one who needs ministry. Everyone wants my help, but I have nothing more to give."
Eventually, Terry's burden was lightened. But his dilemma reminds us that pastors need our support and love on a daily basis.
We forget that pastors are human too, with the same challenges and problems we all have. Plus, they have stresses others do not have. They are expected to be "perfect," and their families are expected to be perfect. They can and should be models of Christian behavior, but none of us is ever perfect.
Because of their ministry, pastors may also be under heavier spiritual attack than most Christians
, especially if they are boldly proclaiming the saving power of Christ's blood and the power of the Holy Spirit. Satan hates that as it helps destroy his kingdom, and he often tries to counterattack. Paul says, "We are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12, NLT).
Let us love our pastors, pray for them, joyfully submit to their leadership, and encourage them.
"Remember your leaders who first taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and trust the Lord as they do... Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit" (Hebrews 13:7,17, NLT).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.