Being a pastor can be challenging and demanding, but it is also incredibly rewarding and impactful. Here are words of encouragement to uplift and support pastors as we enter the fall season.
Your Calling Matters
Never forget your calling. When discouragement comes, think back to how Jesus called you to ministry. Think of the stories, the prayers, experiences, and circumstances that led you to make the decision to serve in kingdom work. Reflect on how you wound up serving in your church, community, and ministry.
The Lord reigns and can call you to the next place tomorrow. For now, buckle down, keep moving, keep trusting, and keep praying. Your calling is still there, whether or not you feel effective at this moment. It’s God’s ministry and God’s church. Sometimes, what you might need more than anything is a nap.
You Are Making A Difference
Unlike building a house or creating a computer program that comes to completion, pastors are in ongoing, endless work. We’re blessed at times to see fruit from ministry. But often, our to-do lists have more than we can handle. The good news is that the Lord is using you as his hands and feet in each small, yet faithful encounter. Big, one-time successes are fleeting in ministry.
You are making a difference, even If you feel like you are doing only little things. I can think of story after story of little ways that pastors in my life said the right thing at the right time. They encouraged me with the Lord’s sense of belonging, which became a calling that has lasted all my adult life.
Learning Is A Gift
We can easily be discouraged by the rapid change in style, technology, culture, and the coming generations. Here’s the most freeing tip: You can’t know it all and no one expects you to.
One of the best things you can do at any age is to embrace learning. Ask others for help. Soak up new knowledge and skills. Tell those around you, “I have no idea about this, but I’m trusting that God will use us as a church to make it happen in spite of that.” Confidently become a learner and rely on people around you in ways you haven’t for awhile.
You’re Not Alone
Five million other pastors serve around the world, and you also have the great cloud of witnesses cheering you on through the work of the Holy Spirit. Yet it’s easy to feel like you’re out there by yourself. Know that you are not alone.
When you feel alone, another pastor might, too. So, send a note or text to another pastor friend and ask, “How’s it going?” Building structure of small group/support with other ministry leaders is always a good investment. Feel free to give me a call and visit.
Keep Your Legacy In Mind
When I’m smack in the middle of a difficult season, it helps me to think farther out: What will be the impact of this ministry in 50 years? What will my legacy be? These questions help thwart the temptations that can derail our ministries; and help us make tough, pruning types of decisions about what is most important in life. At the very least, these questions keep me going.
Know that the Lord will use your life and ministry for impact far beyond what you will see this side of heaven.
Trust in God’s word. Be faithful to Jesus alone. Be patient, hard-working, and enjoy the journey. Thanks for your ministry and your countless unseen hours. Keep growing the church you have right now. Blessings!
Encouraging Scriptures For Pastors
Ephesians 4:11-12 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
1 Peter 5:1-4 “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”
Romans 10:14 “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
1 Timothy 3:1-7 “Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”
Acts 20:28 “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”
Hebrews 13:17 “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”