October is pastor appreciation month so let me remind you how important it is to pray for, and care for, your pastor.
Paul writes in Ephesians that one of the gifts of the risen Christ to His church is that of the pastor-teacher. Both the teaching and shepherding elements of pastoral work are vital and are undergirded by the prayers of the congregation. Your prayers for the Spirit of God to enable your pastor in these tasks will not go unanswered.
When I began in pastoral ministry, my father’s prayer for me was that I would be clear; that I would be courageous, preach with conviction, but also that there would be compassion – the compassion of Christ in the way that I convey the Gospel. Although I’m not always successful, I know that I’m always prayed for – not only by the members of my congregation, but also by you. This means a great deal to me when I sit down to study the Bible remembering that Paul wrote, “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteous."
I have learned a great deal from Nehemiah when it comes to delegation. His ability to divide the labor enabled the Jerusalem wall to be re-built in record time. Along these lines, if you’re aware of the fact that your pastor is operating without sufficient support, I encourage you to see yourself as a possible solution to his challenges. When a congregation seizes hold of this, the entire church community benefits from the varied gifts and talents of its members “so that the body of Christ will be built up” (Ephesians 4:12).
Our resource this month offers practical help to pastors (and anyone in service to the Gospel) who may be burning the candle at both ends. My friend Christopher Ash wrote an insightful book about the unfortunate frequency of burnout within ministry. It contains useful advice that I commend to you highly, and for you to share with your pastor. Christopher not only offers the antidote for burnout, but also, valuable preventative measures.
As you know, our mission is to teach the Bible so that, in addition to individual spiritual growth, the local church will be strengthened. It’s not too soon to give a Basics 2017 registration to your pastor as a gift. This annual conference for church leaders held here in Cleveland is a needed time of refreshment and fellowship for many in pastoral ministry. Registration is open online at basicsconference.org.
Incidentally, our series this month is a study in the book of Nehemiah titled God’s Work, God’s Way. I hope you find time to listen. You can easily locate a radio station that broadcasts Truth For Life in your listening area by visiting truthforlife.org and clicking on TFL Finder in the top bar. As always, you can listen anytime at your convenience on your smartphone or tablet through the free mobile app.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support. Your prayers uphold us and your giving is what makes the teaching free online for listeners around the world.
With my love in the Lord Jesus,
Topics: Letters From Alistair Begg