I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3 John 4 NIV)
Sunday is Pastor Appreciation Day (October 9). Take some time to pray for your pastor, and then on Sunday, affirm your pastor. Then keep doing this every week.
Being a pastor is one of the toughest jobs on the planet, but the apostle John says it can also be the most joyful: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4 NIV).
Spiritual leaders must correctly teach God’s Word, confront false teaching before it spreads, proclaim the Gospel to non-believers, pray for all people, and train and appoint leaders. They must do this all while serving as examples of what it looks like when you’re maturing in Christlikeness (see 1 and 2 Timothy; Titus).
Accordingly, the apostle Paul says we should respect our spiritual leaders, overwhelming them with appreciation: “Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work” (1 Thessalonians 5:13 NIV).
You can see the enormous responsibility a pastor has to stay in sync with God and to encourage you to stay in sync also. Your pastor is human and every bit as capable as you or me of making mistakes or slipping into sin. Pray that your pastor will stay focused on Jesus and that your pastor’s ministry will flow from that intimacy. There is nothing the enemy wants more than to distract your pastor from his purpose by getting him distracted.
Pray for your pastor’s protection, because the push-back he feels from the enemy comes in strong every time your pastor proclaims God’s truth. It gets even stronger the closer he gets to Christ.
Pray that your pastor will know deep within his soul that “not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, ?hostile? powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans 8:38-39 HCSB). And then let your pastor know that your love will never cease, that you are committed to loving your pastor with the love of Jesus Christ.
Now think of some practical bit of service you can do for your pastor, and do it this coming week.
Jon Walker is the author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s ‘The Cost of Discipleship' managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotionals. © 2011 Jon Walker. Used by permission.
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