The Bible warns that the end times would be stressful and difficult. This is even more true for pastors, their spouses and children; because there is an all-out assault from the enemy against spiritual leaders. Satan knows “If you smite the shepherd, the sheep will scatter” (Mark 14:27). For that reason alone we must learn to provide our spiritual leaders with a protective cover and shield of prayer. The result will be that our pastors, churches and ministries will be empowered to fully impact our inner cities and Nation.
Spiritual leaders face constant pressure:
Pressure to hit a “home run” with the sermon every time they stand behind the “plate” – I meant pulpit. The best hitters in baseball miss the ball 70% of the time but pastors are expected to hit the mark 100% of the time.
Pressure to increase the churches attendance, while retaining those that have come regularly. Yet, most churches in America are in decline.
Pressure to give in to the demon of competition with other pastors and churches over size, significance and measures of worldly success. The status quo greeting by most preachers to another preacher is “Hey Doc, how many you running?” That is “Preacherease” for What is your church attendance every week?
Pressure to balance Marriage and ministry; their own children with spiritual children; personal finances and churches resources. It is a difficult balancing act and many are failing in it. Their marriages and home life is suffering is silence.
Pressure to please the people and give them what they want. King Saul fell into this trap and lost the anointing of God and the throne of a nation.
Being a pastor is the hardest job in the world!
Can you imagine going to work everyday in a workplace that was wired with explosives hidden there by terrorist? Can you imagine leading a workforce that was consistently late for the job, lacked morale, were constant complainers and only looked forward to payday and quitting time. Can you imagine working a job where you were often unappreciated, underpaid, overworked and misunderstood! If you can then welcome to the world of the pastor. The terrorist are demons spirits and the workforce is the church congregation.
These statistics should disturb us. Did you know that 1200 pastors in North America leave the ministry every month due to stress, burnout and failure? One wise pastor once said about the ministry, “If you have not ever wanted to quit then you have not been called”.
Some other troubling numbers about pastors:
97% of pastors say they were inadequately trained for the challenges they face
80% say pastoral ministry has had a negative effect on their children
70% say they constantly fight depression
70% feel underpaid
71% say they are in financial trouble
65% have thought of quitting the ministry within the last 30 days
70% say they do not have someone they consider a close friend
In the midst of this warfare, crisis and constant pressure, pastors need allies.
Jesus also need allies, so in His greatest hour of distress He took Peter, James and John with Him to the garden of Gethsemane. All He asked them to do is what pastors are asking you to do this month and as often as you can… “Could you not pray with me, at least for one hour?”
Take some time right now and pray for your pastor. Thank God for your pastor and their spouse and children. After you pray determine to be a tangible blessing to them. And finally submit to their leadership because they watch over you soul.