October 24, 2016

DAY TWENTY FOUR - Praying for Our Pastors and Leaders... 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray!

I hope you prayed along with me yesterday, practicing a bit of Listening PrayerIf you heard something from the Lord while praying, I'd love to hear! 

Before we dive right in to how Life Happens when it comes to church life, I want to give this little, strange disclaimer:

I am a Pastor.

As in... for real.

My Honey and I are Associate Pastors and if you hang out here, this is not new news...

But here's the thing: 
   It still sort of freaks us out.

I mean... we have pastored for all of our years because that is just who we are!  We believe that ALL of us are called and gifted and the days of full-time, us-and-them, build-myself-a-ministry, one-man-shows are over.  It may have been nice when it lasted for some, but I think most of us are happy to say Buh-Bye to those days! #ByeFelicia

We have now been in full time ministry for a little while and even though we spent the majority of our years with God in leadership with the Church -- sometimes inside, and sometimes outside, Hello! --  there is some small shift when you step in to the 'official' role of pastoring.

We always prayed for our leaders and felt our call was actually not just to pour into the people God would set in front of us, but to pour into the pastors and leaders God placed over us as well. 

We knew it was hard to pastor and lead... but we had no idea, really...

I don't want to paint a picture that it has been hard as in people are difficult or we have had to deal with all kinds of drama because, --grace, that hasn't been the case for us. 

At least not much... or not yet.

But it has been harder in that the responsibility to lead, to love, to guide... the call to teach and encourage and pray for and with... well--we have always felt that responsibility but the weight that comes with the title was somewhat unexpected. 

It's not necessarily a heaviness... 

We know our burdens are light and our yoke is easy in Him. 

But there is a weightiness, for sure!

And listen... I know.  

I know that pastors or those in leadership are sometimes abusive... sometimes they inflict wounds with their words, judgments, or biting humor... Sometimes they do this seemingly on purpose and with delight, and sometimes they are honestly blissfully unaware! 

I don't know your history with leaders, pastors, priests, etc. 
I don't know your past experience with church... or The Church at large, but I do know this:

Sometimes we don't represent the heart of our Father very well. Sometimes we draw lines in the sand, when Jesus is busy writing things out --hoping we will see, repent, and drop our stones.

Sometimes our flesh rises up and we say things we shouldn't... or wished we wouldn't have. Sometimes we maybe bite our tongue or hold the peace when what was actually needed was a confrontation in love and truth to be brought to Light.

The point I am trying to make here is that I have loved Pastors and leaders in my past. I have been loved and served and pastored well by many. And I have been hurt... pushed out, shot down, excluded and slandered. I've experienced both sides. If you have been part of the family of God chances are (sadly) good that you have been, too!

And now I stand as a pastor and my hearts' desire is to release healing, always. To love and teach (by words AND by example!) ...to encourage and speak life... to pour into and lift up... to promote health and thriving... to release the Kingdom in you and with you but not for you.  

We are all called and there is no difference between us. We are all gifted and I want to partner with Him and with you and walk out this life side by side, releasing the love of God wherever we go!

That's my heart, but here's the thing:
I'm human.

I will fail... someone, somewhere, at some point... (and so will you.)

And so did 'they.' 

But for some crazy reason, Jesus left this whole Kingdom deal for us to nurture and carry on and spread the Gospel to all the earth anyway! He did it, knowing full well how badly we could -and would- mess it all up sometimes.

He left and sent the Spirit so that we could do the things that He did "and greater things." (What?)

We talked on Saturday about Forgiveness and how it is such a huge piece to fully receiving our healing and stepping into true freedom. 

I think many of us feel justified in our anger or hurt towards the Church because, clearly, they were wrong... or we were wronged... or both.

I think we may have said (or still say) things about Jesus' Bride that He is not so okay with.  

Is He okay with some of her poor choices? No... but always, He is for her, and I think we forget that when we talk bad about her, we are talking bad about ourselves.

We ARE the Church.
We ARE the Bride.

And the leaders and pastors whom God has placed around us? They are not Jesus... but they are trying to learn how to love like He did. They are trying to lead like He did. 

And some days they are #nailingit at every turn and oh my goodness, how we see and experience and expand the Kingdom just by being around them!  

On other days, well --not so much!
On other days they are just doing the best they can.

So more than laying blame or trying to fix all the problems, I wanted to encourage all of us to simply remember to pray for our leaders. 

For the ones from the past --whether they hurt us or healed us, and the ones in our present who speak in to us now. 

Pray for the leaders and pastors that God is raising up now for a future generation who will lay down their lives for the sake of the Gospel... for the sake of the world.

If you attend a local church or gathering, pray for those who are pouring their lives into growing a community that loves and serves God.  Pray for the pastoral team and the entire staff... pray for the elders, the small group leaders, the children's and nursery workers... pray for the greeters and the ushers and the church secretaries... Pray for the pastors... for their spouses and families.

Pray for your brothers and sisters -whether they are 'on staff' or not... who pastor... who teach... who exhort.

Pray for yourself and pray for the Family... the Church... the Bride... to love well and to glorify God and to increase this Kingdom that we've been adopted into, wherever we go!

I would love it if you would add a prayer in the comments below... for a specific pastor or leader, or just in general! It is my honor to enter in to prayer with you, sweet friends!

I'm also linking up with the lovely writer communities linked below:

Kelly Chripczuk  for #SmallWonders 

Barbie Swihart  for #GlimpsesofHisBeauty  

 Today is Day Twenty Four of 31 Days of Life Happens...and so We Pray! If you missed the kick-off and official 'Home page' for this series, you can go HERE and catch up! You will find links for each days' postings, added daily throughout the month. If you'd prefer to have them delivered right to you, I invite you to enter your email address to the right ('Subscribe Here') and subscribe to the blog. That way, once a week, each post is delivered to your inbox in a single email over the weekend and you'll be sure not to miss a thing!

Come back tomorrow as we continue to be Praying through the Psalms on Tuesdays! We'll pray for the Church, and then through the rest of the week we'll talk more about what the Church should look like --inside and outside of her buildings, and of course, we'll talk about Unity! I hope you'll join us!

But until then, in the comment section below, let's lift up the leaders who pour out and serve us --and Him-- well!


  1. Very appropriate post in light of it being Pastor Appreciation month. For the almost 27 years as a pastor's wife I do remember feeling the weightiness of it all. In a sense, there was a certain 'glory' in it all. Blessings.

    1. Yes. Yes! Weightiness and Glory. (And also a bit of tired!) ;)

  2. I'm just going to start us off here in the comments in prayer for my pastor and leaders... I hope you will join in and comment/pray for yours as well!

    Father God, thank You so much for Shawn and for the whole team You have placed around My Honey and I... thank You for Your wisdom and for how You are deepening our love for You and our love for each other. Thank You for how they can't help but love You and love others... thank You for how You provide and bless. Lord I pray an increase of anointing... an increase of authority to release the kingdom and to do the red parts of the Bible! I pray a protection and covering over Shawn and Tenielle and the whole family... grace, healing, wholeness, and JOY!

    I thank You for a team that feels like family, and for a pastor who is a brother... and for the joy and honor of stepping in and stepping up side by side with My Honey... Where You go, Lord... we will go!

    Thank You for the pastors... the leaders... the brothers and sisters who have poured in to my life... who have loved me well and lifted me up and who have come alongside me, taught me, prayed over and with me, stood with me, laughed and cried and rejoiced and weeped with me. What an honor to be a part of the family of God.

    We are so thankful for how you love us through each other!
    In Your Name, Jesus!

  3. Love this and you friend! As a leader in this church, it is a gift to know we are being prayed for.

    1. Amen! It makes ALL the difference, doesn't it? xoxo

  4. "But for some crazy reason, Jesus left this whole Kingdom deal for us to nurture and carry on and spread the Gospel to all the earth anyway! He did it, knowing full well how badly we could -and would- mess it all up sometimes."
    AMEN! I have marveled at this very thing so many times. Thanks for the reminder to pray for our leaders.

    1. Doesn't it just amaze you? (And sometimes make you think He was crazy? LOL!)

      Praying for our leaders and for those who mentor, pastor, and simply pour truth into us... it's so important!

      Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth! xoxo


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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