Billy Sunday, an influential American evangelist of the early 20th century, once said, “If you are strangers to prayer you are strangers to power.” If you want to see God’s power working in your church then pray for your pastor as he leads you. I believe this statement with all my heart, “When we pray specifically, God answers specifically.” Pray specifically. Pray often. Include your pastor and his family in your prayers.
Not sure that your pastor has truly gotten direction from the Lord? Repeat step one: pray. As you continue to pray, have patience. God answers prayer in His timing not ours. Plus, what do you have to lose by asking God to show you if your pastor is heading in the right direction? Or to show you where you might be wrong?
When in doubt, pray. When unsure, have patience. God can work in your waiting.
Your pastor regularly prays, studies and seeks God’s wisdom and clarity for the direction that He would have for your church to go. There is nothing like your pastor leading the charge in the direction God has given him and then for him to turn around and see little to no people following.
Also, you do realize that each of us are all called to some form of ministry as well, right? God’s work is not just to be done by paid staff, but by each and every believer. Robby Gallaty in his book, Growing Up: Making Disciples Who Make Disciples, said, “The gospel came to you because it was heading to someone else. God never intended for your salvation to be an end, but a beginning. God saved you to be a conduit through whom His glorious, life-changing gospel would flow to others.” You my friend are a conduit. It doesn’t say your pastor, but you. Don’t know what to share? Share your story.
God desires for you to be His hands and feet. That requires your participation.
I was hesitant to use this particular word, but I think it fits. When I was working on this article, my wife’s suggestion was positivity. So, the gist is this: When was the last time that you encouraged your pastor? Told him he was doing a good job? That you appreciate the sacrifices that he makes each week?
Most pastors only hear complaints from their people and sometimes it is over the silliest of things. Don’t be one of “those” people. Find a way to genuinely thank your pastor for all that he does.
This is sorely lacking in the world today, not just in the church. We live in a drive-thru, instant have it your way society. If the preacher doesn’t say or do what we want him to do, then we will just get a new one. Wrong. If he is preaching and teaching false doctrine, well then of course you would remove the pastor, but most of the time that is not the case. Issue? Lack of persistence.
Did you know that it generally takes a pastor 5-7 years before he can build the relationships and respect needed to truly make changes in a church. Also, the average tenure of a pastor is between 3-4 years, many less than 3, which is sad. However, there are exceptions in each city, some pastors stay in a ministry for 20 plus years. If they do, why? It was because they were persistent, but also because their congregation was patient, they participated, they praised him for leading them and thus God’s power and presence was felt in the church and the lives of its people.
Where do we go from here?
In closing, ask yourself this: Have I been praying for my pastor enough? Have I been patient with him? Have I participated alongside him in the work of the Lord? Have I praised and thanked him for the sacrifices that he and his family make? Have I been persistent in my attendance, giving and support of the man God has called to lead our church?
What else can you offer your pastor?
What are other things your pastor needs from you? What have you given your pastor that is not listed above?
A man for whom Christ died …
… who seeks to be a Barnabas (encourager) to those God places in his path.