Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Cry of the Pastors

And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.  I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. - Numbers 11:11-14

I think it's safe to assume that every pastor, at one time or another in his ministry, has uttered this same cry as Moses.  After all, as the shepherd of the flock, the pastor is charged with the responsibility of feeding his sheep week after week, month after month, year after year.  And guess what?  We, the sheep, complain.

"This isn't what I wanted to hear."

"Why don't you ever preach on this topic?"

"Forget all that sin stuff.  We want to hear something that makes us feel good."

A good pastor prays, studies and prepares for each and every service, seeking nothing more than fulfilling the will of God.  But just like Moses, those pastors can grow weary.  Weary of the discontentment of those he's charged to feed.  Weary of the constant complaining.  Weary of giving his all only to have members stab him in the back when he doesn't say or do whatever it is they think he should.  How many pastors have fallen to their knees and cried, "Lord, I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me"?

And you know what?  They shouldn't have to.  There are certain tasks that are specifically assigned to the pastor and the deacons, but beyond that, it is up to the rest of us to step up and help out.  Rather than complaining, how about we compliment?  Instead of dwelling on our discontentment, how about we determine ways that we can help and encourage our pastor?  What are we doing to lighten the load so that the pastor doesn't feel like he's carrying the burden alone?

Most pastors won't get up in front of the church and share just how heavy their loads are.  It's not in their nature.  They keep it to themselves.  They put on a smile and bury their hurts.  And even when they are heartbroken, they will seldom ask for as much as a prayer on their behalf.  Well, if they won't ask, I will.  In fact, I am encouraging each one of you reading this to stop right now and say a prayer on behalf of your pastor.  Pray for his strength, wisdom and guidance.  Pray for his health.  Pray for his family.  Pray that God will place a hedge of protection about him and keep him safe from the fiery darts of the devil.  And while you're at it, pray that God will show you a way that you can better support your pastor.  What can you do to make his job a little easier?

Sometimes we put our pastors up on pedestals and forget that they are mere humans just as we are.  They are capable of falling, and they, too, are apt to grow weary in well doing.  I think it's time to stand up and let our pastors know that they are not alone.  All for one and one for all, right?

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