A few months ago a dear couple in our church took us out for dinner and coffee to talk about something that God had put on their hearts in previous churches - a team of people focused on praying for me as their pastor. I was floored, humbled, and appreciative of it on more levels than I can write about. Since then, I get notes of encouragement, time spent in prayer on Sunday mornings, and a number of people in our church are getting weekly updates about what they can pray for.
To say the least, it's been powerful.
It's why when I saw this video I was so grateful and glad for people like Jim & Jean who love their church and love their pastor.
If you're reading this and you're a pastor, chances are you're tired. Chances are you're stressed. Chances are you're frustrated. Chances are you're running on empty and entering into a weekly survival mode. Very few of us will make it to retirement in ministry. We'll burn out, we'll dry out, we'll be chased out, or most of the time we just give up and walk away.
That's why you need people praying for you. Too often church prayer lists and church prayer ministries end up being sick lists. There's a time and a place for sick lists and physical needs. But you as a pastor need people committed to praying for you, with you, and beside you. The weights of ministry are too much if you're trying to do it alone.
You need prayer for physical needs. Satan so often attacks us through our health, because if we're laid up sick or dealing with health issues, we're not able to lead God's people. Have people praying for you from a physical standpoint, your church needs you healthy and strong and refreshed.
You need prayer for your family. Ministry can be a heavy burden for a family, especially for a spouse. Get people praying for your home, your marriage, and your kids. You might have kids who haven't made a profession of faith, or who've wandered far from God. Your ability to minister is directly correlated to the health of your home and your family.
You need prayer for your soul. Pastors are constantly in "Give" mode, and by the end of the day many times our tanks are empty. We've spent hours or days or weeks pouring into people and our souls are dried up. People who are praying for your soul to be refreshed, for your own walk with the Lord to be strong, for your encouragement are invaluable.
You need pray for your leadership. You carry the burden of vision in your church. You stand and preach. You lead the youth ministry. You get up and lead music and worship. It's a lot, whether you're the lead pastor or a second chair. And you need people praying for your leadership, that it's faithful, that you're focused on Christ, and that you're walking in wisdom.
If you're interested in learning about a Pastor Prayer Team, shoot me a note. I'll be glad to get you in touch with the couple leading ours. It's been revolutionary.
Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.