Submitted by Andy McIlvain.
I work in the medical field as a nurse. I work with an experienced and mature Medical Doctor who is also a Christian. In the course of a day we encounter a wide variety of medical problems, most are physical ailments, disease and age related. Yet many are mental, emotional, and addiction related. These are all discussed in strict privacy.
The subject spoke of least of all is spiritual ailments. The Puritans came to America to escape persecution in England. Puritanism was a holiness movement-about holiness in all of life. They believed that everyone is a sinner and that God sent his Son to save us through his death, which is the basis of our being declared right before God. A covenant promise was made to those who have faith, which is committing yourself to God, and specifically to Jesus Christ. The Puritans practiced great virtues like humility before God (and man), integrity (truthfulness), and generosity, as well as submission to Scripture.
They called themselves Physicians of the Soul. Pastors and elders were held in high regard. Sadly, in our culture the clergy have been reduced to employees and by and large are not respected. Pastors are human and subject to human frailty and sin, and, in our media-saturated age, the failing of everyone is bantered about for public consumption.
Your Pastor is one of us and faces the temptations and difficulties of life just as we do. Your pastor has unique burdens; writing and delivering sermons is hard work for example. The burden of wanting the congregation to grow and mature weighs heavy.
We all can help our pastor by being a disciple, a believer, a Christian in whatever way God has gifted us. Encourage your pastor with words or a note. All pastors, like all of us sheep must confess their sin, receive advice from older saints, and seek counsel when needed. When you give your pastor feedback, be specific. Encourage him, his family, his wife, and children. Allow time for vacation to break the cycle of overwork and for conferences as he edifies and refreshes himself.
Encourage guest pastors and all church staff as they too struggle with life.
We are God’s hands and fingers, whether our vocational ministries are, in a clinic or church. Christ does not need a pastor on earth ministering to his church, because he is present and active among his people. Jesus has chosen to shepherd and heal each congregation through the ministry of his Holy Word, and outwardly and practically through pastors and to a great degree laity.
Personal Godliness is more important for your Pastor and us than an impressive church or programs.
Intercede in prayer for your pastor that God would provide all needs and protection for his marriage and his ministry. Just as your medical doctor helps God heal your body, your Pastor, with the help of God, ministers to your ailing Soul.