PASTOR


October is designated as Pastor Appreciation Month. During the remarkable chaos of 2020, I hope you learned to appreciate your pastor in a new and deeper way. Consider this peculiar pastoral acrostic:

P (Preaching): The past months have taught us anew to treasure the precious privilege of proclaiming God’s Word. Collective worship has gone virtual as well as in person, and “on demand” as well as on Sunday mornings. In the midst of so many changes, your pastor has had to recalibrate how he proclaims the truth of scripture, and has led you in adapting the timeless message of the Bible to timely methods of delivery. New audiences have been found for the gospel.

A (Administration): There is no manual on how to manage the events of the past six months and the foreseeable future. Your pastor has made decisions he never thought he’d have to make, and needs your prayer support that he decide with wisdom and discernment from the Holy Spirit of God.

S (Shock) Many of our pastors tell me the church has fewer activities due to COVID, but they are more exhausted & busier than usual. The pandemic forces us to contact folks, prepare to teach, and relate to the church leadership in different ways. It is akin to landing in a different country or culture, where every word spoken and every cultural cue is not what I’m used to. Learning a new language and a new culture is exhausting, something every international missionary experiences; it’s called culture shock, it is real, and every pastor among us is struggles with it in the midst of this prolonged shock.

T (Treading water) Think you’re tired of this giant holding pattern in which we find ourselves? Your pastor is, as deeply as anyone and perhaps more. It is enormously frustrating to expend effort only to keep one’s place in uncertain seas. The last thing he needs is additional weight as he treads this water; we need to lift our pastor up, not drag him down. Find ways to buoy your pastor, not just burden him.

O (Offline) Your pastor loves you, prays for you, and acts as the sentinel and shepherd to protect his flock (John 10.7-11). Most of our pastors are bi-vocational, some have health issues, family issues, all worthy things that consume time and energy. When he stands to proclaim the Word, he faces not only a pew audience or Zoom screen images, he also looks straight into the sneering and leering faces of hell which desire to dilute, distract, and diminish his message so it does not find its intended target: the spirit of people in need of repentance. He needs periods of time to rest, to recharge, to refocus. Make sure your pastor has adequate time to be “offline” from the pressures of his position and profession.

R (Renewal) This is broader than “offline” time. It is disheartening for a pastor to preach, teach, and lead, and from week to week not see a soul won, a spirit rededicated, a light-bulb flicker on in the congregation. If you want to restore a glimmer of hope to your pastor’s step and his eyes, then next time he issues a challenge, go to him and simply say, “We get it” or “we’ve got this.” The best way to appreciate him is not to say “enjoyed that sermon, pastor” but to allow it to illuminate your spirit and incarnate the truth of what he shares in your daily life, all to the glory of God. Our Corner of the Kingdom Oct 2020

October is designated as Pastor Appreciation Month. During the remarkable chaos of 2020, I hope you learned to appreciate your pastor in a new and deeper way. Consider this peculiar pastoral acrostic:

P (Preaching): The past months have taught us anew to treasure the precious privilege of proclaiming God’s Word. Collective worship has gone virtual as well as in person, and “on demand” as well as on Sunday mornings. In the midst of so many changes, your pastor has had to recalibrate how he proclaims the truth of scripture, and has led you in adapting the timeless message of the Bible to timely methods of delivery. New audiences have been found for the gospel.

A (Administration): There is no manual on how to manage the events of the past six months and the foreseeable future. Your pastor has made decisions he never thought he’d have to make, and needs your prayer support that he decide with wisdom and discernment from the Holy Spirit of God.

S (Shock) Many of our pastors tell me the church has fewer activities due to COVID, but they are more exhausted & busier than usual. The pandemic forces us to contact folks, prepare to teach, and relate to the church leadership in different ways. It is akin to landing in a different country or culture, where every word spoken and every cultural cue is not what I’m used to. Learning a new language and a new culture is exhausting, something every international missionary experiences; it’s called culture shock, it is real, and every pastor among us is struggles with it in the midst of this prolonged shock.

T (Treading water) Think you’re tired of this giant holding pattern in which we find ourselves? Your pastor is, as deeply as anyone and perhaps more. It is enormously frustrating to expend effort only to keep one’s place in uncertain seas. The last thing he needs is additional weight as he treads this water; we need to lift our pastor up, not drag him down. Find ways to buoy your pastor, not just burden him.

O (Offline) Your pastor loves you, prays for you, and acts as the sentinel and shepherd to protect his flock (John 10.7-11). Most of our pastors are bi-vocational, some have health issues, family issues, all worthy things that consume time and energy. When he stands to proclaim the Word, he faces not only a pew audience or Zoom screen images, he also looks straight into the sneering and leering faces of hell which desire to dilute, distract, and diminish his message so it does not find its intended target: the spirit of people in need of repentance. He needs periods of time to rest, to recharge, to refocus. Make sure your pastor has adequate time to be “offline” from the pressures of his position and profession.

R (Renewal) This is broader than “offline” time. It is disheartening for a pastor to preach, teach, and lead, and from week to week not see a soul won, a spirit rededicated, a light-bulb flicker on in the congregation. If you want to restore a glimmer of hope to your pastor’s step and his eyes, then next time he issues a challenge, go to him and simply say, “We get it” or “we’ve got this.” The best way to appreciate him is not to say “enjoyed that sermon, pastor” but to allow it to illuminate your spirit and incarnate the truth of what he shares in your daily life, all to the glory of God.

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Mountain State Baptist Association

 

109 Willowbrook Rd

Princeton, WV 24739

www.msbawv.org

Tel: 304-425-4444

Fax: 304-431-6452

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