Monday, May 24, 2021by Reverend Dan on May 24, 2021
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Most pastors I know need connection to their members. I know I do. In fact, whenever I start to struggle, my “fix” is usually to call a church member because in just a simple conversation with them I’m reminded how fortunate I am to do what I do for a living.
Do we always see eye-to-eye on every issue? Nope. But grace is plentiful in my neck of the woods so we can disagree on the topic without hating the person. (Maybe they need to move D.C. to Union Ridge so the folks in Congress can learn about that.)
All this came front-and-center to me when I read the results of the latest Barna Group Survey. 29% of pastors around the world are thinking of quitting. Not leaving their church for a new one . . . packing it in and leaving the ministry altogether. That breaks my heart, especially when I found out the reason. Over the last year, pastors have lost confidence . . . in themselves. Things are changing so quickly and everything that used to work doesn’t anymore, and the pastors are taking all the responsibility of that on their own shoulders.
That’s where you come in. Every pastor needs to know someone believes in them when they stop believing in themselves. Call your pastor. Let them know you appreciate all they do. If they’re doing a great job, tell them. And if they need help, volunteer.
And when all else fails, do what I do. Ask for oatmeal cookies. My church knows oatmeal cookies are my Achilles heel. My kryptonite. My vice. Give me a batch of oatmeal cookies and if I’m anywhere near a quart of milk, I’ll eat and drink myself into a blissful (until the next morning) coma.
While that last part is tongue-in-cheek, you get the idea. Support your pastor, because almost one-third of them are thinking about walking away because they feel like they’re letting you down. Be their Barnabas. Encourage them. Edify them. Love them.
Get in that yoke with them and help them carry their weight. You’ll be surprised how good it makes you feel, and you never know . . . you just might be saving a career.
Father today I pray for my brothers and sisters in the clergy. Still their hearts and help them to feel the power of Your presence as they fulfill Your Call and give their sheep the compassion to help the undershepherd that serves them. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.