I almost didn’t want to write this because it seems a bit self-serving, being that I am a worship pastor. But I have a pastor too, so here goes.
Your pastor is maybe the person in your life who needs prayer the most. By that I don’t mean that he’s the most important person in your life. What I mean by that is he’s the person in your life who’s usually in the most danger of imminent spiritual attack. I don’t know what you know about Satan, but he knows and agrees with the Scripture (he just doesn’t obey it). Therefore, he understand this principle.
Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I will turn my hand against the little ones. (Zechariah 13:7)
Jesus quoted this (Matthew 26:31) to predict that once he was arrested, the disciples would scatter. Because of this, Satan targets pastors. He understands that if he can strike the shepherd of a local church, the sheep will scatter. Sometimes they move to other churches, but sometimes, they lose faith all together. In any case, a fallen pastor causes hurts than can run deep.
Let me give you three things you should always be doing for your pastor.
- Pray for him. This should be a given, but I’m convinced that more believers are forgetful about this than those who are diligent. James says that the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective (James 5:16). You can save your pastor a lot of unnecessary trials, just by praying for him.
- Encourage him. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the easiest way is a simple thank you. Your pastor, on top of caring for his own family, is juggling the needs of an entire congregation, visiting people, helping people, taking late night emergency phone calls, counseling, not even to mention spending significant time every week preparing a sermon that some people will get, others forget, and a few will sleep through.
- Defend him. After politicians I’m not sure another profession receives more criticism. Whether in harsh emails, hair salon gossip, or in social media ranting, pastors frequently get raked over the coals for what they say, or don’t say in a sermon, or for what the do or don’t do during the week. If you love him, stop gossip in its tracks, correct misinformation, do whatever you can to set the record straight.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month, so I probably should’ve posted this last month, but any time is a good time to say this. If you love Jesus and love your church, you must pray for the man God has called as shepherd of your congregation. If Satan can strike him, he will, and he knows it will be a devastating blow to the church. Cover your pastor with prayer. Ask him what he needs. Submit to his leadership. In doing so, you bring a blessing not only to him, but to the whole church.