Over the past week, we’ve been considering how to fight against ministry burnout. My prayer is that this series has been helpful for you and caused you to see where the Lord might want to do work in your own heart and life. I know writing this series of articles has been helpful for me to think through and address areas in my own heart and life the need for what the Puritans call “heart-work” that is to grow to be like Jesus in these areas.
As this series come to a close, I want to appeal to you one last time dear pastor and ministry leader. I want to encourage you that you’re not alone. There are plenty of people who are experiencing what you are right now. They may not be in your theological tribe. They might not be on your radar. You might not have their book because they haven’t written one. They might not have a famous blog or lead a prominent ministry. You may not ever fall into that category either, and you need to know that’s okay. The Lord raises up men to ministries of prominence and can bring them down just as fast. We’ve seen that happen in the past few years. It is better to be faithful and bloom where you are planted and stay focused on the Lord in that place then to succumb to the glamorization of the celebrity culture of North American Christianity.
We Have a Great Need of One Another
You see we have a great need for one another. It’s not just the pastor who needs to be cared for. Many pastors as I described in the first article in this series are giving up. We as church members must do better. We must care for and about our pastor as our brother in Christ. Your pastor needs your encouragement. I’m not minimizing that he needs to hear what you think of his preaching and teaching. But what he doesn’t need is your long-winded explanation of where he fails. He likely already knows this if he is even remotely self-conscious about how he teaches as I am. What he needs to know is you care for him, that you love him as your brother. Being a pastor or ministry leader is hard work. It takes a lot of effort to lead well, to love people, and to speak the truth in love to people who don’t want to hear it. God knows what His people need, and He knows where He has need of them. Our job is to speak and minister, it is the Holy Spirit job to convict His people and point them to Jesus.
In the New Testament, we are taught over fifty times to one another. These commands are made possible to obey in community with other Christians because God has taken our heart of stone and replaced it with a new heart, with new desires, and new affections for Himself. It’s not only that pastors and ministry leaders need care; every Christian needs it.
I plead now with you one final time, let us care for one another in our local churches. Let’s not give lip service to the fifty-one another commands in the New Testament. Instead, by God’s grace let’s take them seriously. Our God sees, He hears, and He sends pastors and shepherds to watch and care for His people. Those pastors and elders need our care as well. Let us be about His business of taking the gospel seriously first for ourselves and then minister His gospel in His power for His glory. The result is we’ll care for one another in a manner worthy of the gospel and brightly shine the light of His glory into a watching world desperately in need of the love of Christ and the care of God’s people.
In case you missed one of the articles here’s a list of them
- My Story of Ministry Burnout: Idolatry, Unbelief, and the Gospel
- Resting in and Being Renewed by Christ
- Accountability, Friendship, and the Gospel