I had just stepped down from being a senior leader in a ministry a few years ago and needed a break. After a couple of months, God opened the door at a local church for my wife and me to become quickly involved in. The Pastor was very pleased at our participation. As I got started, I had no idea what was going on in the church.
It began to unfold, the church was majorly dysfunctional and their recently hired pastor with his wife and two youngest children had walked into more than they had bargained for. In the approximant 50 year history of the church, on three different occasions, board members had literally struck the pastor. At once such occurrence, a board meeting a few years prior, where the pastor had said, “I bet you are so mad that you could hit me right now” and so the church leader got up from his seat, walked over, balled up his fist and struck the pastor in the face. In the current situation, there was a man who was trying to exert pressure on the pastor and in many ways act like the pastor. He was even threatening the pastor. Honestly, this pastor needed someone to help him.
God spoke to me in a prayer that I should begin assisting (even protecting) the pastor. Although, I found out later about a “leader” in the church and his efforts to harm the pastor’s reputation and push him out after being there for less than 18 months. This divine direction planted a heartfelt desire, which led to action. These actions included:
- Personally encouraging the Pastor by being upbeat and positive.
- Working closely with their two children in leading the youth ministry. Allowing them to go for it and cheering them on, extending grace when needed.
- Publically supporting the pastor and family from the pulpit and sharing positive stories.
- Moving our family to the front in the Sunday morning worship service. So that we were in direct sight of the worship team, blocking from sight a group of people that would cross their arms and “stare down” the worship team while they were leading worship. We were all in during that time of the service, clapping, first ones to stand, smiling – our presence and participation was an encouragement to them (especially the pastor’s wife).
- Extending grace to my Pastor, especially in this pressure packed situation.
- Running Interference – I even delayed this “leader” causing trouble after service who had threatened the pastor, as he slid out the back door after preaching.
- Being supportive, working, ministering, giving – being a person that they knew they could count on.
Sensing God’s direction caused me to take action. We responded to the needs of a Pastor and his family. What prayers should you pray for your pastor and his (her) family? What action can you take to show support to the pastor and further your participation in ministry? Remember, the places where you and I put our time and money shows what is important to us. Let’s show our pastors (and church leaders) they are important and that the church’s mission is vital.
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