It felt kinda self-serving.
I felt like I was asking the congregation for money. Not church offerings but money for me.
The word minister stems from a root that means servant and I honestly feel like I serve these people. Asking them to pray for me and giving all the reasons why felt weird. Like I was begging for more than I deserved.
In reality there are probably few who need to be lifted in prayer more than the church leadership. Pastors in particular.
They live in a glass house.
Their families are always on display.
Their lifestyle choices (house, car, clothes) are subject to review by the parishioners. Their lawn care habits can become the subject of the next board meeting — or at least the topic of discussion at Applebee’s after church on Sunday.
His kids must be perfect. Not simply well-behaved. PERFECT.
His time is always in demand. One survey says that most ministers report working 46+ hours a week. Reality — they are always on duty. One phone call cancels dinner with the family, a movie night out with the wife, a quiet walk alone in the woods.
One phone call and they are expected to be showered, shaved, dressed and on their way before the call is ended.
OKAY — this is starting to sound a bit self-pitying. I am not at all intending that.
What I do want to do today is stir you to think about your pastor and his / her life. What expectations are there both verbalized and unspoken. What pressures does he / she put on themselves.
They won’t complain (out loud — to you) so I am trying to speak for them.
Pray for them. Pray for their family. Pray for their protection. Pray for their health — physical, mental, and spiritual.
Pray for them….. daily, fervently, honestly.
I get an email on a regular basis from an acquaintance informing me that I am on his prayer list and he’d like to know what specifically is needed right now.
At times that email has come at a time that brought me to tears. Someone cared. Someone prayed.
Maybe you need to send such an email this week……?