To say that the last year has been challenging for pastors is a dramatic understatement. That’s not to say the Lord hasn’t born good fruit through the Coronavirus season; He has. Despite that, though, pastors are beaten down, exhausted and have had to fight the kinds of battles they never anticipated. How, then, can we not only support our pastors but serve them?
It’s helpful to remember that perhaps the most gratifying thing for any pastor is to see the people he leads growing and thriving. In light of that, one of the best ways we can help pastors, ironically, is also one of the best ways we can help ourselves. That is, we can take “Sunday” into “Monday.”
Of course, none of us want to just be “Sunday Christians.” We want to be people who are centered on Jesus all the time. If that’s the case, then let me propose three actions to take every Monday morning after church on Sunday.
- Pray one prayer
What I don’t mean is that this is the only prayer you pray on Monday morning; hopefully, there will be many. I only mean to call out that at least one of the prayers on Monday should focus on Sunday, and in particular, to focus on the pastor of your local congregation.
For pastors, Monday is a hard day. It’s a day spent many times second-guessing everything yesterday. Were the right words preached? Should I have used that illustration? Why didn’t the sermon land the way I thought it would? Yes, Mondays are hard, self-reflective, tiring days for your pastor. So one Monday action to take, in light of Sunday, is to simply pray for the encouragement and endurance of your pastor.
- Sing one song
Music is powerful. More powerful, I think, than we give it credit. Because we are such emotional beings, music is one of the gifts God has given to us to ground truth down deep not only in our minds but in our hearts. It’s one of the means by which what we know connects firmly to what we feel.
Problem is, though, we often don’t sing songs of the faith except on Sunday mornings. So another Monday action to take is to remember the songs you sang the previous day in the community of faith. Remember the lyrics and the truth there. And take a few moments and refresh both your mind and heart by singing one of those songs again.
- Remember one thing
And then do one more thing on Monday. Remember one particular truth that was brought out from God’s Word. One truth that stuck with you. One truth that not only challenged your thinking but also had some relevant application for you.
Remember it, write it down, and then think specifically about how that truth is going to have a tangible, practical impact on the way you will live, lead, and make decisions today. On Monday. In other words, take a moment to ground the theology you heard to the real life you are living.
Three simple things. But three simple ways to bring Sunday into Monday in mind, heart and practice. In so doing, these are three simple ways we can also support and embrace the good, hard work of our faithful pastors.
Reprinted from Deacon Magazine Summer 2021. Used by permission. Lifeway.com/Deacon