The pastor saw me walking in the hallway of the church yesterday, and he quickly stopped me for a brief chat. I knew something was wrong. He told me that his elderly father was sick, and that he was worried. Struggling to hold back tears, he said, "I'm still an eight-year-old little boy when I think of my dad. I would do anything for him."
I offered words of consolation, probably insufficient, and a promise of prayer. He then departed quickly.
You see, other people wanted to talk to him. They wanted their pastor to hear about their hurts. They wanted him to minister to them. And he did so gladly. He loves his congregation dearly. And though the pastor is hurting deeply, he does not hesitate to pour himself out for those God has called him to serve.
Shortly after he left me, he preached two more sermons. He preached with passion. He preached as a man who totally loves his church.
He did all of this even though his own heart was heavy and his emotions were raw.
After all, he is a pastor.
Looking for an Army of Pastors to Pastors
The expectations of a pastor are always high. Most are expected to omnipresent, omniscience, and always energetic and ready to serve. But these men are people with their own limitations and their own struggles. They hurt just like the rest of us, sometimes more than the rest of us.
What if every pastor had a number of people in his church who committed to be pastors to their pastor? These "pastors" would not be the same as those who have the specific call of God and the qualifications noted in 1 Timothy 3. Instead they would include a host of "regular" folks like you and me who love our pastors, and who want somehow to help them as they carry their own burdens and hurts.
A Modest Proposal
My proposal, at least for now, is very simple. I am encouraging and praying that thousands of men and women in congregations across America will commit to pray for their pastors every day. Such a time of prayer can be brief and concise. I pray for my pastor every day at the same of time with rare exception. Sometimes I pray for him for 10 minutes or more, but most of them time it's a brief prayer of just a couple of minutes.
What if we became "pastors" to our pastors by praying for these men of God every day? What if millions of Christians in churches across the world would take on this intercessory ministry for our pastors? I can only imagine how pastors would be strengthened and, thus, churches would become healthier.
Will You Join Me?
I saw this pastor as he walked away from me yesterday. I knew his burden was heavy, so I prayed to the One who is able to carry all of our burdens. I prayed that God would comfort him, his dad, and his family. And I prayed that God would give him strength to be the shepherd to rest of us.
Will you join me? Will you consider setting aside just a couple of minutes a day to pray for your pastor? Will you encourage others to do so? Will you be part of a movement of care, concern, and intercession for these men who pour out their hearts to us every day?
Feel free to make any comments, but I would especially like to hear from you who will commit to pray for your pastor. Simply say something like "I will pray." Or you might even mention your pastor by name.
Thank God for our pastors.
They pour out their lives for those they have been called to serve.
The least we can do is to pray for them a few minutes every day.