Pastors Thoughts 4 February 2018
ENCOURAGING OUR NEW PASTORS
“For I long to see you… that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” (Romans 1:11-12)
Paul loved to be ministered to by his congregation. He not only loved it – he knew that he needed it. This morning as we celebrate the calling of Isaiah and Harrison, I want to remind you of the importance of ministering to them in ministry.
Why must we minister to these two young men?
The reason is that they are human and a fellow believer. As men, they are just as susceptible to temptations as any of you. Faith isn’t automatic for them just because they are a pastor. It is no easier for them to be a loving, hopeful person and a righteous follower of Jesus than it is for you. More than that, they now have some unique ministry burdens to bear. The burden of ensuring that numerous administrative details (mostly unnoticed) are taken care of. The burden of teaching the Word of God week after week. Don’t ever think that these messages come easily for a pastor. If they are consistently Biblical, they require much hard work. I can tell you that many tears are shed in a pastor’s study over sermons that just won’t come. If you feel spiritually dry you might skip church or come for refreshment, but where can a pastor go?
Then there is the burden of wanting his people to act more like Jesus and be the light of the world. Nothing weighs heavier on a pastor’s heart than when his people don’t grow in faith, love, and righteousness. These are but a few of their burdens. I could add more, but I would like to consider how we may encourage our new pastors.
The best way to bear the burden of our new pastors is to be a Christian. Paul said in Philippians 2:2-3, “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” In other words, nothing will refresh our new pastors like a humble, loving, Christ-like congregation. In this regard I have three suggestions (there are more that I am sure you can think of) of how we can build up Isaiah and Harrison and increase the fruitfulness of their ministry.
- Pray for them every day. Write it down so you don’t forget. Be specific. Pray for their health, preaching, family, flaws and weaknesses.
- Regularly encourage them. Send a text or a letter. Talk to them. Tell them that you appreciate what they do and that you are praying for them.
- Challenge them in a spirit of love and forgiveness. Very few people are ever completely satisfied with their pastor because, like every other person, they are imperfect. But we have a responsibility to humbly and lovingly help them to change and grow.
If we do these things then we can hope for a refreshed, hopeful and energised couple of young pastors. In essence our ministry to Isaiah and Harrison will come back to us like a boomerang and will create a refreshed, hopeful, and energised church. Then the world will know that Christ is real and is at work among us here at CBBC.
God bless, Pastor John