[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]In the short space allowed in this blog I want to give you a few of the important things that you should really know about your pastor, so that you can enjoy and benefit from the treasure that God has placed within him, just for you. To begin, let’s look at this verse below.[/x_custom_headline]
[x_blockquote cite=”Acts 20:28 KJV” type=”left”]“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”[/x_blockquote]
First of all, it is important to notice that the Holy Ghost, not man, makes you a pastor or an overseer of God’s people. And then next we must understand, that the Church was purchased by the shed Blood of Jesus. So since Jesus is the owner of the sheep, then the pastor works for Him, and not for the sheep. There are occasions when people get this confused and find it a source of contention. However, the Bible completely clears up this confusion and removes the contention. So always go with what the Bible says and not the opinions of man.
Something else I would like to draw your attention to, and which is often completely overlooked from this verse, is that the pastor is to pay attention to his own spiritual, mental and physical condition before he sees to anyone else under his ministry care. And this is vitally important, because if a minister doesn’t take heed to himself, then he probably isn’t going to live long enough to take care of the flock.
[highlight]Sometimes people try to minimize the pastor’s job because they are completely unaware of all that his role requires.[/highlight]
And because they only see him at the Sunday morning services each week, (because they often skip the other services, meetings and events), they can’t comprehend how hard he actually has to work to pastor their church. But there are many dozens of things that a pastor does each week which the casual observer, or even the most actively involved church member for that matter, will never see or fully know about. Because pastors often must deal with the private lives of people and their problems, the hours each week invested through meetings, phone calls, text message and emails, are never known to others, including ministry staff.
Throughout my lifetime, I have heard comparisons made between the role of a pastor and that of a business owner or a manager of some type of enterprise, in regards to the level of stress and work load they both have, for example. And although there are some areas that are similar, there are many areas where there are no similarities at all.
Now to be clear, there is a lot of “business” in keeping the church operational. And in this the business owner and the pastor comparisons are similar. And both the businessman and the pastor will spend many hours in this arena alone.
Then of course there is the management of people and their assignments, from paid staff to those who serve in the ministry of helps. So in this arena we also see some similarities. However, this is pretty much were the similarities between a pastor and a business owner end.
For example, most business owners usually won’t experience the stress of assisting a couple in keeping their marriage from completely unraveling, while a pastor will. And he may experience this scenario multiple times a year with a variety of different couples, and in the greater majority of the cases, the church family will never know any of this is even going on.
And to be sure, there is a stress to that which isn’t easily described. When someone’s marriage, children, future, and even their walk with the Lord is hanging in the balance, one shouldn’t assume that a pastor can walk away from these situations entirely unaffected by them. Because the reality is, that these events can be heart-wrenching and brutal, and in one way or the other, they take their toll out on the minister.
And what about the medical emergencies that a pastor sees to, some of which are actually life and death issues, which are presented to the pastor at all hours of the day or night, and often multiple times per week? Imagine the many hours of prayer and personal times of imparting the Word of God into the lives of these individuals who have come under some sort of physical attack. And then factor in the fact that the pastor loves these people like his own family, and is deeply impacted personally by what these members of his flock are experiencing. Again, this adds a certain level of stress and pressure above and beyond the normal day-to-day business type operations of running a business.
And most pastors preach and teach the Bible as often as three times a week, and sometimes more. Do you have any idea how much studying goes into doing that, and how much time all of that requires? For example, the time it is taking you to read this blog is by no means the time it took me to write it!
[x_blockquote cite=”2 Timothy 2:15 KJV” type=”left”]“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”[/x_blockquote]
[highlight]Study is work. And most pastors spend many long hours of study to feed God’s people every single week.[/highlight]
Now add to everything mentioned above the fact that a pastor seems to never be “off duty.” Day and night there are issues to deal with. Calls, texts and emails containing the various issues of life come to the pastor continually from those in his congregation. And with most pastors, this doesn’t stop just because it is his day off or because he is on vacation.
Yet here is something that is almost always overlooked, and it is overlooked because it is not something that can be seen in the natural. And that is that there is enormous spiritual warfare that comes against a man of God that a person functioning as a business owner or a manager in any other enterprise would not experience, especially day in and day out. There are evil spirits working constantly to hinder the work of the Lord which the pastor is assigned to do, which though unseen, are just as real as a person who is being bullied by several different people on their job, all day, every day.
So with all of this, and more that space doesn’t allow for me to add, you can see why the Holy Spirit tells us that the pastor must take heed to himself before he can take heed to the flock of God. Because all of these things listed above are placing a daily demand on the pastor spiritually, mentally and physically, which is why he must watch over himself so that he doesn’t just wear away. Because if he is always exhausted and worn out, his effectiveness will begin to wane, and before long he will be unable to do his assignment.
So give your pastor a break, literally and figuratively. He needs it, and God want him to have it. And in fact, do your part to help him have and enjoy some breaks and get away times from all the pressures of the ministry. And please don’t forget to respect his days off, his times with his family, as well as his vacations. Because his effectiveness in ministering to you and your family will multiply when you do.
There are more things to know about your pastor and his role in your life. So I will continue this theme in my next blog.