My pastor's birthday was yesterday. For the past couple of weeks, he had been taking opportunity to share his birthday wish. While a couple of people showed up with his favorite kind of pie, (which I'm certain made his day), his wish wasn't necessarily a selfish one, as much as it was his love for the people of God.
Daylight savings time messes with all of our clocks, literally and physically, and so his birthday wish, was that Sunday morning would be a full house, despite the time change. For reasons, outside of the time change, we were late to church...and thus, quietly slipped in the back; the very back to be exact, as it appeared there wasn't much room anywhere else.
Indeed, Pastor got his wish. The house of God was "full" (to the tune of a good 80-90%).
It can be argued that not all prayers get answered; or they do, and it's often not how we would hope or desire; a "wish" if you will. But this simply story got me thinking yesterday of just how many pastors struggle with their congregations.
For perhaps many more pastors than we realized, church leadership seemingly has an uphill battle on it's hands at every turn and decision. Volunteers for ministry opportunity, funds for a special project or outreach, support to help people in need... or something as simply as increasing attendance to any given service...
All of these circumstances create stress and frustration in the life of a pastor, for it affects their ability to accomplish the two-fold reason for ministry: to shepherd the people of God and to impact their community with the Gospel. Yet, if at every turn, they feel as though they are pulling teeth, the work of the kingdom of God becomes a source of exhaustion rather than a source of joy; a place of tension rather than a place of peace.
Granted, spiritual battle is hard, but the battle is against the enemy of our souls, not an internal battle with other believers. Yet for many a pastor, this is their reality. Daily. Sadly.
So, will you join me, this #seniorPastorMonday. Pray for pastors weary from the battle(s) within their own congregations. May God strengthen and raise them up, above the frustration and difficulty. Pray for a fresh perspective and a rejuvenation in their heart and mind. Pray an easing of their burden and a breakthrough in the blockages within their church; that ministry and support would be unhindered. May God grant the desires of their hearts, to these pastors who are jealous for the lives within their community; that a new found freedom and release would occur in the spirit-realm.
May the kingdom of God advance
As the battle from within decreases
And the efforts of the church turn to the ministry
And advancement of the cause of Christ.
For the glory of God.
PS: the cool part, was pastors' friend from his childhood neighborhood visited the church; and gave his live to Christ at the close of service!
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.