Stand by your pastor
Everyone needs a pastor, regardless of their position or status in life. The global problems and moral decline we now face is the lack of enough good pastors and shepherds. The condition of our youth is the result of a lack of enough true pastors. Most of the true pastors have left ministry and that has left a void - and now hirelings and wolves have stepped in.
The Western culture is struggling because those before saw ministry as a calling, not as mere employment, while for many of today's pastors, the opposite is true.
There are many things that true pastors face daily which cause them to walk away from their calling with heavy hearts. These include:
(i) Lack of support from the congregants.
(ii) Opposition and manipulation from stubborn committee leaders.
(iii) Intense vision for their personal lives.
(iv) Constant and consistent betrayal.
(v) Lies and character assassination.
(vi) Continued broken-heartedness and a lack of persons they can trust in their lives - especially personally.
(viii) A significant lack of faithful persons around them.
(ix) External generalised attacks.
No other profession is as quick to be guaranteed a spot on the front page of a newspaper or a prime-time spot on the news as a fallen pastor, or hireling, who has been found out.
While the institution of politics and other areas of leadership are failing, it is clear that the failure stems from the absence of true shepherds. The government of God must be the one that prepares those who are to serve in civil or secular society. The Church is the one that should be teaching values, attitudes and moral standards, and sadly, this is what is lacking.
SPIRITUAL LIFE IMPORTANT
Most in civil society would more readily give their support to clubs, fraternities, lobbyists and special-interest groups. While each of those have their place, spiritual things and one's spiritual life are most important in any nation and must be the priority - since they guide each person's decision-making and judgement.
When people are not nurtured, prayed for or given pastoral counsel and care, there will be spiritual bankruptcy, which will lead to poverty, crime and other issues. Many who now lead locally and globally are hurting people, who have not been healed or had the benefits of a true pastor.
We need the pastors to bring atonement on behalf of the people of the nation. In the Bible, you will see that before any restoration or reformation can take place, the true shepherds must first be restored to their positions.
Right now there is a void, but that void cannot be filled with occult and New-Age practices. Nehemiah, Ezra and King Hezekiah showed us the benefits of restoring true shepherds to a nation.
True pastors are the most hard-working yet most neglected, mistreated persons within the society, and they are the ones carrying the burden of the mis-management and mistakes of those before and the harsh economic measures meted out. They are the ones filling the gap in a failed society.
How Do I Stand
With My Pastor?
Understand that it is the responsibility of the entire congregation and each community to hold up the hands of their pastors. When your pastor gets discouraged, becomes weak or fails, then you fail (Exodus 17: 10-13). It is not only the pastor who is affected when he/she goes through these problems. We are fighting spiritual warfare and when the leader's hands become weak, then we - the people - begin to lose the physical battle. Some of the signs of us losing the battle include hopelessness, hardship, crime, injustice, rape, incest, high rates of divorce. The very rising of IS all point to spiritual neglect.
We have recently seen the government of Uganda pledge and reach out to help the churches within their society. Helping your pastor means praying for him/her; actively helping him/her to execute and fulfil the vision; give him/her financial resources to carry out his/her function and assist him/her personally. Know without a doubt that your pastor's enemies are your enemies also. Understand that your pastor is more important than a prophet or preacher from out of town, who comes and gives you a word and moves on. Your pastor is the one who stands with you after such individuals leave you in a mess.
There are those who, sadly, believe that pastors and their families must live the worst life and should have nothing much, if anything at all! There is no vow of poverty in the Scriptures - it is therefore not biblical. A good pastor is worthy of double honor and must be treated as such (I Timothy 5: 17-1 8).
- Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.