Rejoice and Mourn~ Way 24
Now we urge 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
Besides thinking that pastors only work on Sundays, there are a few other misconceptions of pastors. One is that they never struggle with insecurities. After all, they are on stage every Sunday, they speak confidently to a whole group of people and their ministry is public. Another is that they are always strong. They are always helping other people, they give wise counsel and they demonstrate compassion. They must not need anyone!
If you were to be present at the pastor’s table for dinner on a Sunday, you might be surprised to hear discussions about the sermon and the pastor asking for feedback. My husband would tell you that he is his own worst critic. He second guesses everything, because he is passionate about teaching and preaching. His desire is to bring glory to God and so it terrifies him at times to think that he might make it more about himself and less about God.
And so we talk about how God used his words, how even in the moments where he stumbled over words, God received the glory. And we rejoice.
My husband’s most recent accomplishment. He made this hammered dulcimer and is now learning to play it. Rejoicing with him!
In scripture, pastors are often called shepherds. I love this analogy. The pastor is to care for the sheep, to lead and guide, to comfort and correct, and to nourish and protect. But sometimes pastors need others to care for them and they can struggle with a need to appear strong so that their congregation will be able to depend on their strength.
The more I read scripture, the more I am struck by Romans 12:15- Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. I believe this is a command in scripture, because God knows that we need one another. When we are rejoicing, we need others to celebrate with us. When we are in mourning, we need our brothers and sisters to surround us in love and in prayer.
Pastors are not exempt from this. They need others who will rejoice with them. But life is not always easy for pastors. They need their people- the ones who are willing to weep with them and hold them up in prayer.
A year ago, we had to say goodbye to my dear Daddy as he received his heart’s cry- Give Me Jesus! We mourn, but not without hope!
When your pastor rejoices, rejoice with him. When he mourns, mourn.
Way 24: Rejoice and mourn with your pastor.