Summary: The church should pray regularly for their pastor
By Joseph Bunce
BCNM Executive Director
I heard the story about a pastor shaking hands with the folks at the back door one Sunday morning after church. A little boy came by and gave the pastor a dollar. The pastor said, “Thank you very much, but what is this for?” The boy replied, “The dollar is for you, because I heard my daddy say that you were the poorest preacher that we have ever had.”
It is so easy to criticize pastors, but let me encourage you to pray for your pastor and his family. We have just finished our Minister and Family Retreat and I can say with certainty that New Mexico churches are blessed with some of the finest ministers in all the Southern Baptist Convention. Our ministers and their families often make great sacrifices to serve your local church.
There are five things that I would ask you to pray for concerning your pastor. First, pray that God would refresh your pastor’s call to preach. Jeremiah the prophet spoke of God placing a fire in his bones. There is no greater joy in the life of a pastor than to sense God speaking to his heart a message to be delivered to God’s people.
Second, pray that God would guide your pastor in his prayer life. Acts 6:4 is somewhat of a job description for your pastor. He is to focus on preaching and praying. That is not to say that the many other things that he does are not important, but the priority must be taking time to prepare a word for God’s people and hearing a word from God.
Third, pray that God will make your pastor courageous. He is called to be a leader in your congregation. In 1 Peter 5:1-2, there are three words that are used to describe the same person and that is the pastor. He is the shepherd leader who feeds and cares for the flock of the living God. He is also the elder, or spiritual leader, of the flock. Peter then reminds us that he is the overseer, or senior leader, of the flock called the church.
Fourth, pray that God will make your pastor contagious. In Ephesians 4:11-12 we are instructed to not see pastors as the church’s hired gun responsible to do the work that happens at the church. Your pastor is a gift to your church and not merely a hireling. Your pastor is to equip the church to do ministry.
Finally, pray that God will open opportunities for him to share his faith. It is so easy for pastors to be so consumed with church folks that they never have time to engage those who are without Christ. Paul reminded young pastor Timothy to “do the work of the evangelist.”
I believe the way you use your tongue in regard to your pastor has much to do with the unity of your church’s fellowship. You can use your tongue to criticize or you can use your tongue to pray.
Please know Sharon and I love you, New Mexico Baptists.