Lift up your pastor in prayer
October is known as “Pastor Appreciation Month.”
While the word “pastor” was reserved for the elders in the churches throughout the New Testament, these days most folks simply refer to their preacher as the pastor.
Most definitions for “pastor” lean toward a single person being in charge of a congregation or church family, but this just isn’t correct. The person who should be in charge of any church family is God and God alone. (Can I get an amen?).
Check out these statistics from a couple years ago. Ninety-seven percent of pastors have been betrayed, falsely accused or hurt by their most trusted friends. Seventy percent of pastors battle depression. One thousand five hundred pastors quit each month. Only 10% of those who enter ministry will retire as a preacher. Eighty percent of pastors feel discouraged. Ninety four percent of pastors families feel the pressure of ministry as they feel they have to act a certain way since, “they are a preachers kid, or preacher’s spouse.” Seventy-eight percent of pastors have no true close friends. Ninety percent of pastors are working 55-75 hours per week. Most preachers feel an overwhelming pressure on a regular basis to build the church family, preach fresh sermons, make sure all the hospital, nursing home, sick, visitor, etc. visits are being met, while making sure their own family is cared for. Ball games, school programs, family dinners, birthdays, plays, parades, and so many other items have been missed because…well…duty called.
A college professor even taught that when called at 2 a.m. to not say the person woke you up because technically the telephone ringing did. Some preachers often hear how they are overpaid, lazy, and paid to do all the work when biblically speaking most of the visits and grunt work was handled by the deacons and elders.
Preachers get complaints about not visiting folks who never call or visit them either or told their sermons are too long or outdated from people who have never tried to write a sermon. On any given Sunday a minister preachers to a 5 year old and a person in their 90s at the same time while striving to make it applicable to all. When was the last time you checked on your pastor? Without even cooking for them or gifting items to them, when was the last time you just checked in? How often do you pray for them?
Want to show appreciation to your pastor? Let them know how loved, needed, and cared for they are. Randomly text them a prayer of thanks. Check out what Hebrews 13:17 says. Pastor Appreciation is a year-round deal as we minister and grow together. Lift them up so they too don’t become a statistic.
Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at email@example.com.