Some years ago, I posted, “8 Reasons I’d Love to Be a Pastor Again,” followed several months later by, “Why I’d Be Hesitant to Go Back to the Pastorate.” Even in the latter post, though, I still affirmed my willingness to return to the pastorate if that were God’s call on my life today. I love pastors – and for that reason, I’m writing today to encourage those who might be struggling as we prepare for this weekend’s services.
- Please know that you’re loved. Even if it seems like everybody’s turned against you, God loves you. Your family loves you. Somebody in your church loves you. My wife, Pam, and I love you. We grieve when pastors feel unloved.
- If you’re lonely, I plead with you to reach out to friends—even today. It’s ideal if you have friends in your area—but if not, take advantage of the telephone and social media to reach out to others. Simply taking the time to talk to an old friend can remind you that you’re not alone.
- If you feel like you’re pounding your head against a wall, quit trying to change the wall. Focus on investing in 1-2 persons, and ask God to let you see glimpses of His glory around you. When He uses you to change somebody’s life – anybody’s life – you can purchase forward again.
- If you’re still wrestling with your sermon for this weekend, rest in the truth that you’re privileged to teach God’s Word. That is, you don’t have to manufacture material for a sermon. You’re under no obligation to impress people with your oratory skills. You don’t have to convince your listeners of anything. All you have to do is teach the Word—so study it, proclaim it, and trust it.
- If you’ve not been praying and studying like you should, take advantage of today and tomorrow to start over again. God is the God of second chances who wants His children to come to Him. You know that; in fact, you probably preach it as truth. Apply it to your own life, and let God adjust your heart for Sunday.
- Give yourself permission – and be disciplined enough – to get some rest. There’s nothing godly about doing too much and sleeping too little. Weary pastors seldom make the best pastors, as fatigue often leaves us unfocused, inattentive, and even short-tempered. Work hard, but sleep well, in preparation for this weekend.
- Know that the readers of this blog want to pray for you. The more I learn about my readers, the more I realize what a prayerful support team they can be. If you’re comfortable asking for prayer via the comments section of this post, let us know your needs. We’ll pray for you.
Thank you, pastor.