Tag Archives: supporting pastors

November 28 – A Private Conversation

Acts 18:19-19-41

I like Priscilla and Aquila. They were good friends of Paul’s, and had put their faith in Jesus. I’m sure that, after hanging out with Paul for very long, they were pretty grounded.

So when they heard Apollos preaching a partial truth, they were able to recognize his error. They knew Apollos as a man instructed in the way of the Lord, fervent, and speaking accurately concerning Jesus as taught by John the Baptist. But Priscilla and Aquila also knew there was more to the story than what Apollos was preaching.

Now here’s what spoke to me today. The couple went privately to Apollos and had a conversation. I don’t see that they went to their neighbors first to complain about the preacher. They didn’t make a scene by stomping out of the church service. And they didn’t post their frustration on FaceBook.

“… they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” (18:26)

The result was exciting. Apollos became a missionary who spoke powerfully, “…demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.”

Our pastors are human. And Satan would like nothing more than to introduce a little apostasy into their messages on Sunday mornings. Would you recognize it if you heard it? What would you do if your pastor said things that weren’t exactly consistent with Scripture?

Churches have split over situations like this. And Satan wins. If your first action is to complain to the Sunday School class, or call another member on the phone to point out the preacher’s error… you are wrong. We need to learn from Priscilla and Aquila and have that private conversation with our pastors first. We need to hold them accountable. And I believe, if your pastor is sincerely interested in speaking the Truth, he will listen like Apollos listened.

I encouraged you to pray for your pastor yesterday as you went to Sunday worship. Let me encourage you to pray for him on Monday, too. And Tuesday. Pray that God will keep him grounded in the Scripture, that he will be open to the Spirit’s leading, and that God will be proclaimed in Spirit and Truth every time he stands in front of the congregation.

I don’t know your pastor. But I know he covets your prayers.

November 27 – Pastors And Prayer

1&2 Thessalonians

Today is Sunday, and I’m getting ready to worship with a very special group of people. It’s a tiny church where about 20 of us will gather. And God will be there.

The pastor is a busy man of God. He not only spends many hours each week shepherding this precious flock, but he also works another job to support himself and his dear wife. I don’t get to worship with them very often any more, but I’m always blessed and challenged when I do.

My home church’s pastor is also a godly man who serves God and our congregation with passion and love. His enthusiasm for sharing the Gospel is contagious. And I know God will be pleased to be present in their service today, too.

Paul reminds us in I Thessalonians 5:12-13 to:

appreciate those who diligently labor among (us) and have charge over (us) in the Lord and give (us) instruction, and that (we) esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.

I hope you are as blessed as I with a pastor who loves God and is true to His Word. I hope you are praying for, and support him (or her) in his ministry. I hope you are praying for his family, for the people he comes in contact with every day, for the hours he spends preparing to share Jesus from the pulpit each week. Our pastors have an enormous responsibility.

So Pastor Bill and Pastor Whit, I appreciate you both. Your love for us who worship with you, your availability to us, your hours of preparation, and your faithfulness to God’s Word do not go unnoticed. I am blessed every time you share God’s Word. May God continue to bless your ministries and your families… and you. I prayed for you both today.

March 15 – Don’t Forsake The Levites

Deuteronomy 11-13

Moses is talking to the Jews about how to handle sacrifices once they cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. He told them where they could offer sacrifices and where they could not. He told them what they could eat, and what was forbidden them to eat.

Then, kind of randomly, he said:

Be careful that you do not forsake the Levites as long as you live in the land. (12:19)

The Levites were in charge of the spiritual welfare of the children of Israel. Like our pastors today. And this verse has me asking the question: Do I forsake my pastor?

I’m blessed to be a part of two amazing fellowship of believers. As a snowbird, I worship in one church in Ohio, and in another when I live in Georgia. And I am blessed to sit under the teaching of two Godly men who share the Truth according to Scripture every Sunday.

But one of my pastors is grieving the loss of a friend whose death was sudden and unexpected. His young daughter has a medical condition that can be life threatening, and there are some questions still unanswered about her condition. Plus, our church has started a building campaign. Yet he continues to preach, to teach, to counsel, to visit, with enthusiasm and a passion for reaching the lost.

My other pastor’s dear wife has medical challenges, and our congregation is so small he has to work another job. But that doesn’t stop him from spending hours in preparation for Sundays, teaching Sunday School, preaching two sermons on Sundays, and a study on Wednesday night.

I don’t know either man really well, so I am sure there are things on their hearts I do not know. They carry an enormous weight on their shoulders. Yet they both greet us every Sunday with sincere smiles, share what God has laid on their hearts in a meaningful and passionate way. They both challenge me and bless me every time I am privileged to worship with them.

I pray for them both. But do they know I appreciate them? Have I encouraged them, thanked them? I know October is Pastor Appreciation Month but shouldn’t we always appreciate these dear men who have answered God’s call to be our shepherds? Shouldn’t we let them know?

I hope you are worshiping in a church with a Godly pastor. I know there are some who take that job who are not as gifted as my pastors, or who aren’t preaching God’s Truth. If that is your experience, I am praying that God will give you wisdom, and bring about a solution that honors Him.

But for those of us who appreciate our pastors, let’s tell them so. Let’s not neglect or forsake them in their very difficult job. And don’t forget their wives and children. They are in this with him, too.

If you are a pastor reading this blog today… Thank you! God bless you. And may I encourage you to hang in there. We need you. And what you do in Jesus’ name is not going unnoticed.

Father, I pray for the pastors out there who love and obey You. Thank you for the hours they spend pouring over your Word, listening to your voice, praying for guidance, praying for us. I pray that they would have clarity in their study. Give them the words that would help us understand what it is You want us to know through them. I pray for their health, their energy, their commitment, their focus, their patience, their passion, their joy. May you grant exactly what they need, and then some. I pray for their families, those dear ones in their homes who love them and challenge them. Grant patience, wisdom, and genuine love. I pray for their marriages. Keep them strong. May their marriages be sources of joy and refreshment. Surround the shepherds of your sheep with protection. And may your sheep let those shepherds know how much they are loved.