I flew to North Dakota. A pastor there was in crisis. This meant that his family was in crisis, too.
During my time there, it was my responsibility to work with the family while arrangements were being made by a national Christian organization for the minister and his wife to stay on a therapeutic ranch for pastors in Arizona. They were to stay at this ranch for a month while some much needed rest, therapy and healing took place.
I’ve always believed that God has wanted me to make helping pastors and other workers in ministry a top priority. So, I have done just that for the last 26 years.
What is a pastor? A pastor is many things, but the Hebrew word for pastor means “to tend a flock, pasture it, or graze it.” To translate it into an English words means, “feed” or “shepherd.”
Pastors are a precious group of Christ followers who very often feel like they don’t have anyone to go to when they and their families run into difficulties that are more than they can deal with alone. After all, people come to them for help. But where do they have to go for help?
Many ministry families carry a heavy load. Not only do they have their own families to care for, but they have their extended families at church as well.
Throughout my years of being in practice as a Christian counselor in the Columbus area, it has been my privilege to work with many hurting ministry families. I’ve been able to do this at no financial cost or burden to any of them.
I’d like to briefly look at just a few of the responsibilities members of a congregation place on your pastor week after week, month after month, year after year. I understand that pastors of larger congregations split up some of these responsibilities. But most pastors have much smaller churches, so they have full responsibility of most of these jobs.
The website learn.org says that some duties of a pastor are:
Providing spiritual leadership to the members of his church
Preparing weekly sermons, preaching ad conducting worship services
Interpreting Scripture for the congregation.
Providing care and counseling to church members and assisting them in crisis situations
Officiating at special services, such as confirmations, baptisms, weddings and funerals
Collaborating with choir leaders to integrate music into church services
A pastor’s job hours are irregular because the pastor has to divide time between conducting worship services, attending social events at the church and completing administrative duties.
Additional job responsibilities may include:
Assisting in church financial matters
Overseeing management of all areas of the congregation’s ministry
Supporting, overseeing and evaluating congregation staff.
Holding regular staff meetings to coordinate ministries.
Ensuring church facilities are functioning.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but you get it.
Are there any pastors who are slackers? There sure are, but I believe they are few and far between. All the ones I personally know in the Columbus area are hard workers who deeply care about each and every member he or she has charge over.
Do you get the picture here? Your pastor is an amazing man or woman.
There is no way in all the world I would ever want to be one, and I would only become one if there wasn’t even a smidgen of a doubt that God was calling me to serve Him in this capacity.
I sincerely hope you are loving and treating your pastor, your shepherd, as God would have you to. Your pastor needs your support. If you are not supportive, shame on you. If you are being a thorn in the side instead, shame on you.
If you are a pastor and are reading this column today, maybe you will find strength in a podcast I recently heard from Texas pastor and Bible teacher Tony Evans. From Dec. 20, it is titled “God Meets Your Emotional Needs.”
Give it a listen. You will be glad you did.
Nita Evans of Columbus is owner of Confidential Christian Counseling, focusing her work especially with ministry leaders and their families. She also is a Columbus Police Department chaplain and a national retreat and conference speaker. She can be reached at 812-614-7838 or by visiting specialspeaker.com.