Help Your Pastor in His Weaknesses~ Way 8
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.
1 Thessalonians 5:12,13
My husband is an incredible guitar player. He is not so great at Kubb (a game where you have to knock over wooden cubes before your opposition).
In the grand scheme of things, this is no big deal, right? We can appreciate his guitar playing (it was one of the first things that I fell in love with about him, so let’s not discount it in any way!), but we would never make a judgment on who he is as a person, because he isn’t great at a lawn game (for the record, he is better than me!).
But every pastor will have strengths and weaknesses that impact his congregation. To be clear, I am not talking about moral failures or abusive, ungodly behavior. For the purpose of this blog post, weaknesses will be defined as a quality regarded as a disadvantage.
Here are some typical weaknesses that I have seen in pastors:
- lack of motivation
- lack of follow through
- not thoughtful
Perhaps you can add to the list. It’s important to understand that everyone has weaknesses, but a pastor’s weaknesses are very public. And since a pastor has the responsibility to admonish (which means to warn or reprimand someone firmly) others, his weaknesses have a tendency to be magnified at times. Correction often results in retaliation and pastors bear the brunt of this.
An important way that we can appreciate our pastors is to come along side them in their weakness rather than judging or condemning them for it. Now this assumes that your pastor is willing to admit his weaknesses and I am fully aware that this is often not the case (especially if pride is the main weakness!).
Every pastor should have some type of accountability. Encourage him in this. Often, pastors need counseling, but there is still a stigma attached to it. Be your pastor’s advocate.
Early in my husband’s ministry, I was surprised by how quick people were to judge and how slow they were to help. It makes me think about teaching our daughter to walk. She would keep falling down and we would help her get back up. We would hold her hands and encourage her. Now she runs everywhere!
Instead of expecting pastors to have it all together or to have it all figured out, we need to understand that they will fall, they will mess up and sometimes they need help getting back up. They need others to come along side them, lift up their hands (Exodus 17:10-13) and encourage them.
If you know of an area in which your pastor struggles, have you thought about how you can help him?
Way 8: Help your pastor in his weaknesses.