It’s right there in front of you. You can recognize it even from a distance. I don’t mean your pastor has returned, I mean we’re looking at him/her from behind. Here’s why: If your church seems to be a target, your pastor is the bullseye. Sometimes it seems like it’s painted on his (or her) back.
Why is that? Simple. When a big tree falls in the forest it takes others down with it. The bigger the tree that falls, the more damage done to those nearby. That being the case we’d be surprised if the enemy didn’t intensify his cunning whenever a pastor is part of the narrative. A church that experiences a pastor’s moral fall may never fully recover. I’ve seen it happen; I hope you haven’t. It’s one of the most painful things you’ll ever observe.
All of that to say this: If you haven’t already, it’s time to gang up on your pastor. To draw such a tight prayer circle around him or her that the devil can’t get through the hedge. Offer to be a prayer partner for your pastor and to cover them with prayer daily. Draft a group of volunteers to cover them on Sunday, another group on Monday, and on through the week. Get your kids excited about interceding regularly for their pastor. Maybe a group praying in a side room all the time your pastor is preaching.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month and gifts are nice, but how about a special prayer cover by the entire congregation during that month. What a gift!
Find out when your pastor does sermon prep and pray especially during that time. Find out when your pastor does visitation and pray especially during that time. You can’t make it to prayer meeting this week? Phone your pastor with the assurance you will be in prayer for them during the service. Got shut-ins? How about turning them into prayer warriors? Send your pastor a surprise text that says simply, “I’m praying for you right now.”
The secret favorite song of most pastors is, “I Need the Prayers of Those I Love.” They do. Spiritual leaders are the focus of the devil’s cleverest devices. Early on in their assignment it becomes evident that they are not fighting against only earthy forces, but rather spiritual enemies against which they are personally impotent. Spiritual battles are only won with spiritual weapons. You and your congregation have access to those weapons.
I marvel at how frequently in his letters, Paul the stalwart champion of a burgeoning global church pleads with his friends to pray for him. He knew, as does your pastor, that without the consistent, supernatural infusion of Spirit power he was no match for the one who was intent on destroying him and his influence. Let your pastor know you’ve got his back. Or hers.
By Don Jacobsen