I love the way one of my closest girlfriends speaks about her pastor and his wife. Prior to meeting her pastor, I felt as though I knew him. I knew his most memorable sermons, I knew how long he and his wife had been married, and I knew how much the congregation appreciated his presence, ministry and dedication to the church. When my friend and I chit chat on Sunday afternoons, something we do every week, she continues to share her impactful experiences regarding her parish. As she sings her leadership’s praises, I am often reminded that the role of the pastor is one of the most challenging callings in the world because they have accepted the ongoing, lofty undertaking of teaching and leading His people. Talk about a heavy-duty to-do list!
Pastors hardly have days off, and they are always in serving mode as they work diligently to establish a powerful ministry within the church. Although pastors may appear to have it all together, we must remember something very important–Christians, no matter their role, talents or skill set, are constantly engaged in a spiritual battle against Satan, every last one of us, pastors included! Worse, Satan loves to put his best efforts into taking down spiritually vitalized bodies because the enemy knows overtaking a vibrant Body would be a feat worth achieving. With that said, our special, selfless pastors are certainly a group of people Satan focuses on taking down with him, and although their spiritual knowledge is grand, that does not mean they do not need prayer or support.
Like my mom always used to say, “Control what you can control, and leave the rest to God,” and that’s exactly what we must do–we must pray for our pastors to be protected against spiritual attacks and leave the rest to God. We must pray that their marriages are safe, children are healthy and their mental health is on the up and up. Like you and me, pastors struggle with life. From relationships to finances to personal problems, they struggle, too, and although they may find the perfect words to touch your heart, they do not always have the answers to their problems and issues.
Christians, no matter their role, talents or skill set are constantly engaged in a spiritual battle against Satan, every last one of us, pastors included!
In 2018, Megachurch Pastor John Gray shared shocking news with his congregation. During his very transparent, surprising New Year’s Eve sermon, Gray revealed that he almost took his life in 2018:
“I literally thought about how I could end my life and still get to Heaven and somehow my kids would not be scarred but there was no way I could figure out how to do it. And I’m not the only person that thought about that. I’m not the only person the devil attacked in that area.”
Gray then shared that he has been seeing a Christian counselor to face insecurities, issues from his childhood and brokenness in his marriage, but before taking the brave step to face his problems with a counselor, he nearly gave in to the temptation to end his life.
John Gray has changed countless lives. His words ring strong and true in the minds of people across the world. He is a best-selling author, well-known pastor and man of God that many people look to for inspiration, support and leadership. John Gray is also human. He faces spiritual challenges, and he has insecurities and burdens, and he is not exempt from these struggles merely because he is a pastor. The same goes for your pastor, too. I encourage you to remember that pastors are more vulnerable to temptation and adversity because of the powerful calling on their lives. We must cover them in prayer, affirm their talents and remain watchful for and with them, doing our parts to continue building Christ’s kingdom of trust, respect, faith and love.
“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greatest strictness.” —James 3:1