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Elijah the Tishbite. Read all about him

October is Clergy Appreciation Month. At my church we don’t think in terms of clergy. We refer to Pastors. No matter the name, these people are under attack. The more they are trying to do God’s will as a leader, the more Satan is concerned and focused. Having served as a pastor myself I can report that it can be wonderfully rewarding. But even as a “part-timer”, it’s a thankless job full of headaches, disappointments, conflicts, loneliness, frustration, petty complaints and tight budgets. Since I was part-time and had a full time job that paid me well, compensation wasn’t an issue but the average pastor makes less than $34,000 a year—and  may work an extra job to feed his or her family. 90 percent of pastors work more than 50 hours a week; 70 percent say they don’t have any close friends; and 45 percent say they’ve had to take a leave of absence from ministry because of  depression or burnout.

The biggest problem is that Pastors are asked to do the impossible. Most modern Christian churches are lead by a single man. The leadership can be viewed as a pyramid with the Pastor on top and with a variety of assistants and workers serving under him. There is no biblical basis for such a structure. In the early church, leadership rested in the elders, a group with a variety of gifts and personality. As a group, the real leader was Jesus. The group had to discern the will of God. The answer to every question was not “Ask Pastor.” 
                   
Since he is asked to do the impossible (being all men to all members) he deserves more than a pat on the back every October. Short of reorganizing your church (good luck with that), you are called to do all that you can do. Some help comes in the story of Elijah (1 Kings 17-19)  with elaboration in an article by J. Lee Grady, the former editor of Charisma. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady

1. Pray against witchcraft and satanic attack. Satan is real. If your pastor is trying to be real. Satan will come after him. Prayer is our weapon. A little fasting doesn’t hurt either. 
2. Pray for courage. Contrary to media portrayals, Pastors, good pastors, are not wimps. Pastors don’t last long without courage. 
3. Pray against depression.  Try igniting the frozen chosen into disciples on fire and introduce yourself to depression. 
4. Pray for rest. Follow your pastor around for a day. This prayer will come naturally. 
5. Pray for the touch of God.  Pastors are often so busy that they have no time for their own spiritual life. A Pastor out of touch with His Lord is of no use to his flock.
6. Pray for convicted elders. Church leadership was never meant to be a one-man job. Pray for God to surround your pastor with men with gifts that complement his and with the energy to put them to use.

Your pastor would appreciate a nice card or other gesture, but he needs you to spend the month on your knees with at least the 6 concerns above massaged in your head, heart, and spirit. Read about Elijah the Tishbite. You may see more of your pastor than you would have thought.

Appreciate your Pastor and be blessed.

Nick

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