Small decisions that can make a big difference – Pray for your pastor

You probably saw these numbers somewhere on the Internet. They reflect a sad reality about pastors. Here are some of them compiled by Pastoral Care Inc.:

Statistics in the Ministry

90%of the pastors report working between 55to 75hours per week.

80%believe pastoral ministry has negativelyaffected their families. Many pastor’s children do not attend church now because of what the church has done to their parents.

75%report a significant stress-relatedcrisis at least once in their ministry.

80%of pastors and 84%of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.

50%feel unable to meet the demandsof the job.

70%of pastors constantly fight depression.

70%say they have a lower self-image nowthan when they first started.

70%do not have someone they consider a close friend.

40%report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.

70%of pastors feel grossly underpaid.

50%of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.

1out of every 10ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form.

80%of spouses feel the pastor is overworked.

66%of church members expecta minister and family to live at a higher moral standard than themselves.

4,000new churches begin each year and 7,000churches close.

Many denominations report an “empty pulpit crisis”. They cannot find ministers willing to fill positions.

#1 reason pastors leave the ministry— Church people are not willing to go in the same direction and have the same goals as the pastor. Pastors believe God wants them to go in one direction but the people are not willing to follow or change.

Statistics provided by The Fuller Institute, George Barna, and Pastoral Care Inc.

The list is longer, but these numbers can give us a good idea of the many challenges that pastors face in their lives and ministries.

This is why we find in many letters in the New Testament the apostles asking for the churches to pray for them. Here they are:

2Cor. 1:11as you helpusby yourprayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalfforthe gracious favor grantedusin answer to the prayers of many.

Col. 4:3Andpray for us, too, that God may open a doorfor our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, forwhich I am in chains.

1Th. 5:25Brothers, pray for us.

2Th. 3:1Finally, brothers, pray for usthat the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.

Heb. 13:18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.

The apostles in these texts are asking for the church to pray for them in specific ways, here are some of them: Help, that is the first request, help us by your prayers.”The prayers of the people help the pastors. Maybe you cannot do a lot, but everybody can pray.

The second request is to pray for a successful ministry, “That God may open a door for our message”, “that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly.”Some times members of the church are quick to complain and to criticize, but how many are praying for the pastor and the ministry that he/she is doing?

The third request is to pray for their lives, so they can have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.” Many pastors face problems in their personal lives because people do not pray enough for them.

So if you can make a big difference in your church and in its ministry, start praying for your pastor.

Have a blessed week,

Pastor Lucas

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