When’s the last time you said thank you to your pastors and let them know you are praying for them? October might be a good time, since it’s National Clergy Appreciation Month. And if your pastor is like many, he or she may be feeling stress.
“Parishioners should share the burden of praying for our pastors. Week after week, we come to receive that which God has poured into them. We have many expectations of them,” said author and ordained evangelist Fredrick Ezeji-Okoye.
“How often does the congregant stop to consider the pastor’s needs? If the pastor is doing all the pouring, how is he or she being replenished? It is time to become the ones who pray for our pastors.”
Most people understand being a pastor can be a heavy load, even if they don’t know many details of what is involved.
According to some statistics*, 75 percent of pastors report severe stress and resulting anguish, worry, anger, depression and fear, so perhaps it’s not surprising that 1500 pastors reportedly leave their ministries each month due to burnout, conflict or moral failure.
Of pastors surveyed, 57 percent would leave if they had somewhere else to go or another vocation they could do. Pastors also rank high in statistics on drug abuse, alcoholism and suicide, along with doctors and lawyers.
Even before he discovered these stunning statistics, Evangelist Fredrick had been called to minister to those who minister, led to create The Men of Faith Network, a fast-growing, diverse, multi-cultural network of pastors and leaders with a global outreach. The network provides pastors a support system and encouragement.
One day as he listened to his pastor praying for others he said he heard a still small voice asking, “Who prays for the pastor?” which led to receiving God’s assignment to create a ministry for pastors and an outreach for people to pray for pastors.
He further develops his ideas, providing encouragement and advice, in his recently-released book, WHO PRAYS FOR THE PASTOR? Aimed at pastors and parishioners, Ezeji-Okoye offers practical information aimed at supporting pastors.
For a list of 12 Simple Tips for Showing Appreciation to Your Pastor, visit https://libertyfoundationllc.com/who-prays-for-the-pastor/
WHO PRAYS FOR THE PASTOR?, Carpenter’s Son Publishing, is available from online retailers and selected book stores.
*Source: www.pastorburnout.com, quoting NY Times.