I was a pastor for quite a few years. I got to sit in on all the behind-the-scenes meetings, and I had a front row seat for all the good, bad and ugly that happened in our church (and happens in every church). I rejoiced with parents when their children professed Christ and wept with children when their parents professed divorce.
To use a rather bad analogy, I got to see how the sausage was made. It wasn’t pretty most of the time.
When you’re a pastor, there are certain things you wish you could tell the folks in your congregation, but can’t because they would seem self-serving.
Now that I’m no longer a pastor, I can say those things. I say them to give you a greater appreciation and respect for your pastors, and to spur you to pray for and encourage your pastors.
Being a Pastor Is Really Hard Work
We’ve all heard the joke that pastors only work one day per week, and I think most of us know that isn’t true. But I don’t think most people realize just how hard it is to be a pastor.
Pastoral ministry is an intensely emotional work. Every week, the pastor finds himself hip deep in the joys, struggles, failings and heartaches of his people. A single day can contain the joy of sharing the gospel and the grief of ministering to a dying friend.
Most pastors spend a big chunk of their time giving themselves away. Refreshing others. Strengthening the flock.
This kind of emotional work can quickly suck the pastor dry, leaving him an exhausted shell of himself. Pastoral ministry isn’t for faint-of-heart pansies looking for a cushy job.
Your pastors work really hard. They spend themselves for your good and your joy. When you pray for your pastors, pray that God would strengthen and refresh them.