Pastoral Work Can Be Profoundly Discouraging
Unlike most jobs, pastoral work is never completed. There are no project deadlines and they can’t usually see tangible evidence of progress. The pastor’s work is only complete when he stops being a pastor, dies or Jesus comes back.
On top of that, pastors are sinners working among sinners. Every day they confront deep, dark reminders of the profound sinfulness of men and women. A deacon in the church walks out on his family. A young mom is addicted to pain killers. A longstanding member is afflicted with brain cancer.
This means that pastors in particular are vulnerable to discouragement. They can feel as if their work doesn’t matter, isn’t making any difference and will never end. They are vulnerable to the whispers of Satan, telling them they are a failure.
Whenever possible, encourage your pastors. Point out evidence of God at work. Pray for their encouragement.
Your Pastor Is Uniquely Targeted by Satan
If Satan can take down a pastor, an entire congregation is hurt. If Satan can take down a pastor, the name of Christ is slandered even more so than normal. If Satan can take down a pastor, he can disqualify that man from ministering ever again (depending on the nature of the sin).
We see it all the time. A pastor is caught in momentous sin. His reputation is destroyed, the church is left gasping, and the name of Christ is dragged through the mud. Church history is littered with the wreckage of broken pastors.
In light of these terrifying realities, pray that God would protect your pastor from the snares of Satan. Pray that God would deliver your pastor from evil. Pray that, for the sake of the gospel, God would guard over your pastor.
So Pray and Encourage
Your pastors probably aren’t going to tell you these things. But I will, because I want you to pray for and encourage your pastors. And because they keep watch over your soul as ones who will give an account, you would be wise to pray for them and encourage them.
Thank you Paul, Dave, Josh, Rob, Scott, Lance and Zach for being my pastors.