A Note of Encouragement for Pastors

I don’t know how many pastors read my blog but, if you are a pastor who is discouraged, I hope this will help to lift your spirits. If your pastor is down right now, feel free to share this with him. Even if he’s not down, this may provide the extra lift he needs.

I have several friends who are pastors, and at least one is very discouraged with the state of the Church. Unfortunately, many attend church because it’s what they do on Sunday morning, but they are not there to hear a word from the Lord. In fact, if God really showed up, I expect some would get up and leave. Gone are the days of growing and repenting and crying out, “Search me, O God!” People simply want a peppy worship service, with a feel-good message afterward, so they can then go back home and live their comfortable life.

clergy_pastor

Some pastors probably are fine with this, as they want the same thing, but I know there are some whose heart is toward the Lord, who desire His will above all else, who wonder if anyone hears a word they say week after week. It seems, many times, a congregation will not tell a pastor what a blessing his messages are (even if they think so), but he will definitely hear about it if he preaches too long, gets too excited, doesn’t get excited enough, etc. Let me just remind you that your job is to preach the Word. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to change hearts. It’s possible, though, that you can help that change come about through prayer and crying out to God for it. It is not the time to be discouraged. Faithful is He who called you, and HE will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24). If you know that you are where God put you, you must trust that He has a plan. Your job is simply to be faithful.

I know you already know this, but let me remind you that success in God’s eyes is not measured by numbers, wealth, or any such thing. God is looking for people who will speak the word He gives them to speak whether people want to hear it or not. He wants bold men and women who will say, “Here am I. Send me. It doesn’t matter if anyone makes fun of me, criticizes me, etc. As long as I know You are pleased with me, that’s all that matters.”

You may never see results this side of Heaven but, one day, when you finally get Home, you will hear your Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.” At that moment, all the struggles and frustrations you had while on earth won’t matter. It will finally be worth it all.

13 thoughts on “A Note of Encouragement for Pastors

  1. “If your pastor is down right now, feel free to share this with him. Even if he’s not down, this may provide the extra lift he needs.”

    Sister, I appreciate the heart of what you post but wanted to say that many pastors today are feeling down because they are out of line with Gods NT pattern for the church. They have inherited a roman catholic model of church and inadvertently stunt the growth of the body of Christ by standing as mini popes among the church. The NT model is to have a plurality of elders in the local church who lead open lives among the brethren in real day to day life, not just in the weekly meeting(s). Instead they try to perform all functions of the 5 fold ministry along with the other gifts given to the other saints. Also, many are using honorary religious titles and greetings such as ‘pastor Dave’ and thus harming the brotherhood of the saints where elders/pastors lead among them, not as lords over them.

    Discouragement may actually be appropriate for the situation that I describe. Jesus said that whoever exalts themselves will be humbled. Better now than on the day of judgment.

    But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. -Jesus, Matthew 23:8

    “The pivot point hangs on whether or not God has revealed a universal pattern for the church in the New Testament. If He has not, then anything will do so long as it works. But I am convinced that nothing so dear to the heart of Christ as His Bride should be left without explicit instructions as to her corporate conduct. I am further convinced that the 20th century has in no way simulated this pattern in its method of ‘churching’ a community . . . it is incumbent upon me, if God has a pattern for the church, to find and establish that pattern, at all costs” – Jim Elliot, Martyr for our Lords sake

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  2. Pingback: A Note of Encouragement for Pastors | Truth in Palmyra

  3. Fleebabylon: Although I agree that the ideal, Biblical model is for a plurality of elders, I am also aware that, in some churches, this is not possible. Not everyone has the qualifications of an elder, for instance, or maybe the church is being used as an outreach to new believers or those who are not yet converted. Or there may not be men in the church who are willing to step up and help take up the slack. I expect that the majority of pastors who are discouraged would fit one of these categories. One pastor we know even admitted that he’s not sure anyone in his congregation is really saved. My heart goes out to pastors who are trying to make a difference among an apathetic congregation.

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  4. Sony, I must add my own thoughts that your words were an encouragement to me. I realize that I am not alone for there are others who have not bowed the knee to the Baals of this world. However, it can be a tough battle within my own heart and soul when you are not seeing many of those who refuse in your own congregations. The pastor you mentioned who regards not many, if any, are really saved in his congregation. Such a heartbreaking situation. I have been in tough situations but the Lord has always seen fit to bless with one or two here and there in each place we have served (sometimes more) who love the Lord and desire the truth of His Word be preached. But, it is rare!

    Thank you for being sensitive, gracious, and loving in your words.

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  5. Sister. There are certainly times and situations in the NT there were churches planted with no elders for a period of time, let alone just one! I have grown greatly in Christ in such churches. I do not intend to speak against brethren who are pastoring in such situations and apologize if I sounded that way. Also, I hate even writing this because you are such an encouragement in the Lord in general.

    Still, I was speaking more to the general practice in the institutional church system that is far removed from what pastoring really is. Their is no reality of imparting their lives to the saints, only imparting sermons and programs. The elders in our home church are brothers who I actually sit in their living rooms, know my family, business, etc… just like the other brethren do. This is the NT reality, being connected to one another in real life, even the elder brothers. These same brothers encourage the younger saints to share during the meetings and do not lord over the church with clergy/laity preistcraft. They teach and oversee as required while allowing others to share and grow in their gifts.

    With that I stand by my comment that pastors doing things the roman catholic / semi-reformed way (especially those who go on to exalt themselves through such vain traditions) should be depressed about it. This is the vast majority of those true pastors still in 501c or denominational / institutional church systems. They need repentance, not encouragement. God ordained for his bride to be built up by it’s many members functioning as seen in the NT pattern. Pastors who usurp this need to be exhorted to repent, not coddled. They are the cause of the problem, their playing churchianity and being OVER the sheep, instead of being example AMONG the sheep in real life (both through orthodoxy and orthpraxy).

    I hope I will not be seen as unloving for shining light on this harsh reality (always reforming).

    The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. -1 peter 5

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  6. Great interaction Sony and Flee.

    Sony, yes there are such fellowships as you describe. But then if the Elder thinks that most are not saved, then is it what Jesus is building, or is it another thing? This goes back to WHAT he is teaching, for that is what one does as an elder inside the Ekklesia Jesus builds. Preaching is for outside the fellowships and through the conviction of the Holy Spirit brings the lost to repentance. Thus, what Flee (AKA Jim) points out is quite relevant!

    You must see the difference between American Churchianity and Biblical Christianity, for there are so many systems in place to “do church” and few are leaning upon the Lord of the Work for they have climbed in another way via credentials and academia. Jesus called them many things…blind guides thieves robbers and hirelings! It doesn’t matter what motivates the man as all are wrong outside His true calling.

    Mark I agree with your appreciation for Sony’s encouragement!

    We all need to heed Jesus’ warning regarding the traditions of men that make His Word of no effect. There is where disheartening really comes from!

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