Our world is a ‘different’ world today. We are facing unprecedented challenges on all fronts. Economic, political, cultural, and health issues are on the minds of everyone in the world.
The Church is the ‘hope of the world’…when it is working right. Jesus is still Lord and He is still the Head of the Church. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The Body is in a constant state of ‘change.’ Leading through ‘change’ is crazy difficult.
My intent in this article is to raise the awareness of the Body of Christ to better understand the mindset of their ‘Pastor.’ To be a pastor is one of the most difficult positions in all of leadership. They are leading a volunteer army made up of every race, every political party, every kind of diversity you can imagine. A few thoughts.
The War In Your Pastors Mind
- Inundated with critique due to social media platforms. Example: To say ‘Black Lives Matter’ is a great statement, but people assume it is either political or organizational alignment. (Jesus said, ‘blessed are the poor’, he did not say, ‘blessed are ‘all’ people.’)
- Competition with the mega pastor voices and productions and ease of access to online access has created more church hoppers and shoppers
- The expectation of them is one of a humble servant performing super hero leadership
- While Pastors had to maintain the status quo of ministry, they have had to create a virtual side gig overnight from scratch with no training #COVID-19
- Exhausted from the ‘demands’ of their people and themselves to perform (physical, spiritual, mental, emotional)
- Recognizing simple ‘programs’ no longer address the deeper needs of the soul
- Accountability and justice is being demanded and the desired outcomes of their people is divided by culture and ideology
- Discernment and wisdom to know and do the right thing is being challenged by an audience wanting decisions based on feelings over truth
- The serious issue of sin (racism) that has been overlooked far too long is now demanding change and reform
- Pastors and leaders are having to choose if they will listen to God, Governor or Status Quo
The State of the Pastor
- They are exhausted
- They are hopeful and trying to stay positive when everything seems negative
- They are overwhelmed by meeting the needs of their people and communities
- They are battling all the voices in their ears: fear or faith; God or Governor; safety or services; open up or lockdown; oppression or opportunity
- They are being called to lead and make decisions in spaces they are not comfortable
- They are in a position today when they clearly do not have all the answers
- They feel the weight of the world is on their shoulders
- They are trying to stay connected, handle declining finances, learn technology, care for people from a distance, care for their communities, keep up on the news and providing hope when the times are uncertain.
- They are feeling alone, since their identity has been wrapped up in the weekend gatherings
- They are being challenged by potential divisions due to corruption of power, media overload, political ideologies and worldviews that are not biblical
How Your Pastor Will Need To Lead The Church In This New Day:
RESET – Where were we before COVID-19? Where are we now? What trends and traditions were reset because of the pandemics and issue of racism?
REFOCUS – How did we pivot in the digital landscape to address the needs of our people when we could not be together? What lessons did we learn that can be sustained? Is it helpful to look at the ‘old wineskin’ and determine the good of our past ‘traditions, and then look at the ‘new wineskins’ and determine the value of being the church when we could not be together physically? Determine a path forward using old and new wineskin though processes.
RESTORE – What is God saying to us in 2020? As we seek clarity and 20/20 Vision and look at our world through God’s lens, what are we seeing? Is God bringing us back to something? Are the events of 2020 part of God’s redemptive story?
Questions You Can Ask To Minister To Your Minister?
- How are you doing right now?
- What’s keeping you up at night?
- In what ways can I support you right now?
A Word From The WORD:
- “Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.” – Rom 12:12
- “Trust God and Do Good.” – Ps 37:3
- “God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 4:19
- “Able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” – Phil 4:13
CARING FOR YOUR PASTOR
- Pray for him (don’t say it, DO IT)
- Support him by communicating to him. Be positive, transparent and authentic
- Let him know how God is working in you
- Care for him financially
- Recognize the extra effort
- Follow his leadership
The Church is God’s program. The Church is the mission of Jesus. Let’s support and encourage our Pastors as the lead us. Remember, the wise words of Pastor Rick Warren, ‘The Pastors are the ADMINISTERS and the people are the MINISTERS. God is raising up an army of ‘ordinary members to be on mission, doing the kinds of things Jesus did in their communities.
Pastors…We LOVE you! We know you are not our Savior! We believe in you because you are a ‘gift to the Church.’ We know you are not a perfect leader, but we will follow you as you follow the Perfect Leader and Head of the Church…Jesus.