PL ~ Bill, your website
states "While Cadre Ministries will bring training to any size church, its
special concern is the church with one pastor (and many volunteer leaders)." Why
this particular emphasis?
Larger churches have an
inequitable voice in America because in America bigger means successful. You can
question that all you want, but that's the way it is. While we don't have an ax
to grind with bigger churches simply because they are larger, we want to
champion what God is doing in the regular church. (I refuse to say "smaller"
church--because it implies inferiority in our culture--and I don't believe they
inferior at all.) Since our ministry focuses on helping churches train
volunteers to do ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12), we LOVE the regular church
because they already know that the key to effective ministry is training
volunteers! Larger churches can hire staff. Good for them. But we honestly
believe volunteers can do MINISTRY--real ministry--lead people to Christ and
disciple them--often better than a pastor can--especially when they are TRAINED!
PL ~ How was this a motivation to write "7 Biblical Ways God Wants YOU to
Encourage Your Pastor"? ===>Click headline to
access booklet . . .
We LOVE pastors! And quite frankly, we're sick
and tired of seeing our best friends and colleagues get chewed up and spit out.
This doesn't happen at every church--but it does at many. The problem is
compounded because if a pastor talks about encouraging pastors--it can be seen
as self serving. So we said, "Hey--as stateside missionaries--we're in a great
place to bring up the biblical idea about encouraging pastors. So we purposely
set up to address what the Bible says about the subject... and let it lead us to
address the sticky issues of money, gossip, etc.
PL ~ The first challenge is
to pray for your pastor ~ Why is this presented first?
Paul tells is that "first of all" we should pray
for our leaders--and that includes our spiritual leaders. And, to be honest, we
don't believe that in the average church there is much prayer happening--let
alone prayer for pastors. We've got lots of programs--and we like purposeful
programs--but prayer is often missing or extremely weak.
PL ~ Explain the purpose of
"My Covenant with God, One Another and Our Pastor."
It's one thing to read about encouraging
pastors. That's education and information. But I don't believe that education
and information is enough to produce life-change. So we put the covenant in the
booklet to challenge people to sign on the dotted line and seal the deal about
being an encouragement to pastors. In one church, the elders of the church
signed the covenant--then gave the folks in the congregation a chance to
participate--and then hung the signed covenant in the foyer as a reminder... and
accountability to each other--to be an encouragement to their pastor.
PL ~ How can a prayer leader
mobilize others to pray for the pastor?
We need to regularly remember that pastors are
PEOPLE... like you and me. If that doesn't get you praying--you think too much
of yourself! We address the human side of pastoring in our booklet. But I think
so many of us just don't get it--and some pastors foster this super saint
facade--so we are totally shocked when we find out that our pastor is just like
us. Remembering that our pastor is human can help us a ton when it comes to
praying for him.
PL ~ Some pastors are very
private and will not seem to welcome the support of members - What can a church
member do at that point?
Pray. And I think the bigger issue there is that
pastors have been conditioned--by past bad experiences--not to open their hearts
to church people. I can't blame them. But I think all of us--especially
leaders--are looking for a safe place to take our journey with Jesus. I would
encourage you to be a safe person for your pastor--and not to give up if there
is no reciprocation. It will take time to earn a pastor's trust. It may not be
possible in some cases. But pray--and love them like crazy--whether or not they
outwardly express appreciation for your encouragement.
PL ~ Bill, lease write a
prayer that concerned Christians can pray for their pastor . . .
God, Help us to love our
pastor with extremely practical expressions of encouragement. Use ME to show the
way. Help us to err on the over generous side--with our words, finances, time,
talents, and gifts. Give us a spirit of courage to keep others accountable to
the biblical commands to encourage our pastor. Rebuke our hearts when we sin
against our pastor by gossip--and give us repentant hearts. Prompt us every time
we drive into the church parking lot to breathe a quick prayer for our pastor.
Do whatever it takes to make our pastor flourish in his relationship with you,
his spouse, his family, our church, and our community. in Jesus' name... amen