In May, I posted a picture and a few paragraphs that sparked a great deal of conversation. It revolved around devastating statistics about pastors – and the five things you can do to support your pastor.
This week, I facilitated a handful of coaching calls with pastors around the country. As I think back over the sessions, the over-arching descriptive word I would use to describe these pastors would be discouraged.
Pastoring is hard stuff. The open secret about pastors is
some most all struggle with discouragement at times, some more frequently and more intensely than others. For some, it comes in feelings of failure. Others, its loneliness and isolation. Still others, struggle with diagnoses of depression.
Pastors need our help and support.
Pastors: I want to speak directly and pointedly to you for a moment.
You are not alone.
Your work is not in vain.
Your faithfulness does not go unnoticed.
Your identity and worth in the eyes of God are not based on how well you pastor, how big your church is or how many people come on a Sunday.
You are not defined by what you do, but by who you are – and more importantly, to whom you belong.
And most importantly, your God is big and cares you for you with an outlandish love.
The same grace that is available to those in your church is available to you as well.
I read these words from Ephesians 5 in The Message last week and thought of the thousands of pastors across the country who might need encouragement from these words:
“Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.”