I watched the young couple walk up onto the platform.
The old recording was barely visible at times. I listened to the pastor read a biography the young man had written in the second grade. I heard my husband choke up with grateful tears as he tried to say thank you to all those who invested in his life. I saw the future in their eyes and I remembered. This was my husband’s ordination into the ministry. We were that couple. Young hearts full of aspirations of glory for God.
35 years in the ministry. I have watched him. I continue to watch him~
I watch him make hospital visits.
I watch him get phone calls in the middle of the night. I watch him leave to help a shut in.
I have watched him weep at the deathbed of members that have become family~
and then somehow speak encouragement to the grief stricken at their funeral service~
again and again and again.
I watch him pray over scripture.
I see his excitement to share his love of God’s word with others.
I know he has kept gut wrenching secrets told in confidence, and the burdens of members heavy on his shoulders and in his heart.
I hear his prayers.
I watch him during building projects and additions, working from sun up till sun down. I see him repairing roofs, cutting grass, shoveling snow, cleaning bathrooms, fixing what is broken~ not just in the building, but in the hearts and lives of others.
I see selflessness time and time again. I see him love every single minute of being a shepherd for Jesus. I see Jesus in and through him.
That little boy who wrote in a biography that one day he wanted to be a minister. That young man with big dreams for the love of his small town. That pastor with a deep love of God and a burden for others.
And I know, no matter how much I am praying for him~ it needs to be more.
Whoever your pastor might be, let me encourage you to see that he needs more than a note of appreciation inside a Hallmark card once a year. Yes he is blessed by your encouragement but more importantly,
he needs you to go to war for him on your knees~ because the work he is doing is for God’s kingdom. The hearts he is reaching are for God’s glory and the enemy wants nothing more than to beat him down to the ground and leave him in the dust.
How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:15, Isaiah 52:7.
Feet that bring strength to the sick, encouragement to the weary, comfort to the broken-hearted, rest to the anxious and hope to the lost.
Pray for your pastor as he brings the gospel of peace and good tidings to a tired, hurting world.
Because that world needs your pastor.