I Thessalonians 5:11 says: “Therefore encourage one another and build each
other up, just as in fact you are doing.
As believers, when we are involved in church we often hear a couple of things.
- We need to be serving within the church
- We need to be ministering to those outside of the church
The best way of doing so is by being an encouragement to those that we attend church with, and those in our neighborhoods and community. I think for the most part we try to be encouragers to others around us. We like the feeling of being encouraged and we know that by developing strong relationships with others it is important to build them up and encourage them in what they do.
That being said sometimes we can forget about the leaders in our church, as well as our missionaries and extended ministry partners we don’t see every week. They can be standing on stage or sitting in our classroom and talking about ways in which we can show love toward each other by spending time with them, praying for them, or just acknowledging them. As we are sitting there listening our minds can go a mile a minute thinking about who we know that we need to spend extra time with. Often we can think of a handful of people that are struggling and that could use our prayers or words of encouragement. But, how often do we think about giving that encouragement back to our leaders and missionaries?
How often do we pray for our pastors, teachers, and missionaries? How often do we ask to spend time with those that mean so much to us and have influenced our own spiritual journey?
In past blog posts we have talked about burn out rate among pastors and missionaries According to Pastoral Care Inc, on their website https://www.pastoralcareinc.com/statistics/ they list some astonishing statistics:
“35% of pastors battle depression or fear of inadequacy.
26% of pastors report being over fatigued.
28% of pastors report they are spiritually undernourished.
70% of pastors report they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.
70% of pastors do not have someone they consider to be a close friend.
27% of pastors report not having anyone to turn to for help in a crisis situation
The profession of “Pastor” is near the bottom of a survey of the most-respected professions, just above “car salesman”.
• 71% of churches have no plan for a pastor to receive a periodic sabbatical.
• 66% of churches have no lay counseling support.
• and only 1 out of 10 pastors will retire as a pastor.”
Statistics show that when churches have pastor appreciation, and support for their pastors the above statistics improve. I challenge you this week to think about the pastors, missionaries, teachers and spiritual leaders in your life. Then take one or all of these actions steps:
1.) Call/text/email them and not only let them know you are praying for them, but ask if they have a specific prayer request.
2.) Send them a card and even a gift card or special gift with words of encouragement telling them specifically what they have done or said to you that has positively influenced you spiritually
3.) Ask them to lunch, dinner or time getting coffee. Spend quality time with them listening to them and showing them that you care. Coffee over facetime and skype work too!
For more information or to get more involved supporting local pastors and missionaries please contact Here2There ministries at [email protected].
-Christy Paul, LMHC
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