Sunday, June 12, 2011

A great way to support your pastor ...

Another Sunday morning has just passed, and across the world there are some tired men.

While many people have toiled to prepare for the church gathering together, pastors have prayed, studied, and toiled throughout the week (or longer) at preparing a message from God's Word that is accurate, honest, challenging, and feeds the minds, hearts and souls of those they stand in front of.

Whether your church is structured to be led by a board of elders, a pastoral team, or any other mix, let's be honest: the pastor is usually the "point man" for the corporate ministry of most local church bodies.

Let me make a clear and concise statement: unless you are a pastor, you will likely never fully understand the weight of responsibility that comes with the calling to be a shepherd. Added to that is the reality that many pastors lead small churches where they have to wear multiple hats. In fact, many pastors have to work a full-time "secular" job so they can afford to serve as lead minister in their local church.

These men need every ounce of support we can provide them!

Recently I had lunch with a fellow pastor I was getting to know for the first time. During our conversation, he spoke of how Bob Russell had been an inspiration to him. Russell was Senior Minister of Southeast Christian Church (SCC) in Louisville, Kentucky for decades. SCC grew to be one of the largest churches in America under Russell's leadership.

My fellow pastor shared about Russell explaining what was behind the tremendous growth at SCC. Early in Russell's ministry, the elders at SCC prayed together and concluded they were led by the Holy Spirit to make Russell "famous."

Now wait.

They weren't led to lift up the man. Their conviction was that God would use Russell's preaching in a great way, and they were led to lift the opportunity for Russell to preach God's Word. So together, they supported Russell by "making him famous" so that he could preach the Gospel as powerfully and broadly as possible.

The result has been an incredible ministering with many thousands coming to Christ. All because a group of men weren't concerned about position or pecking order or anything other than how Christ could be proclaimed as clearly and widely as possible.

What a fantastic way to stand behind and support a pastor!

Imagine what might happen if other churches supported their pastors in a similar way the SCC elders supported theirs.

What are you doing to support your pastor? How are you sustaining him as he proclaims the Good News? How can you partner with him to broaden and deepen the work he leads?

"12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other." 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13.


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