Dear Pastor: Will You Forgive Us?

Pastors have answered a high and difficult calling. There are few things that boil my blood faster or put my feet on a soap box quicker than when I hear God’s people hurling mean-spirited or spiteful comments at God-loving, servant-hearted pastors.

It gets ugly when sheep turn on their shepherds. And Satan, along with the world, watches. Smiling.

I love to intentionally encourage my pastors. When I see them at some mid-week church function, I am fully aware that they may have faced strenuous spiritual warfare. The enemy has likely lobbed a stream of fiery darts at them, whether it’s tough counseling sessions, disheartening church politics, or the death of a member.

It’s critical to convey to our pastors and pastor friends just how vital they are to God’s work and His church — to let these grace-filled men of faith know how much they, their families, and their ministries mean to so many.

So…to my pastors, all my pastor friends, and your beautiful families:

You embrace the calling to be crucified with Christ, yet sometimes we are the ones pounding in the nails.

Please forgive us.

You take up the cross of Christ without hesitation because it is not merely your day job–it’s your very calling, passion and purpose. Yet sometimes we watch from comfortable pews without lifting a finger as you stumble under that staggering weight alone.

Please forgive us.

You love us enough to sacrifice family time, shorten vacations and make yourself available 24-7-365. Yet when you need to unplug and allow God to recharge you, we haughtily demand your instantaneous appearance.

Please forgive us.

When life blindsides us with loss, relationship difficulties, health scares or financial burdens, you are the first to offer prayer and call in the posse to help. Yet when you need us, we wear busyness as a badge to dodge.

Please forgive us.

You willingly live in a glass house with our noses pressed against it, gracefully shouldering our smart aleck remarks and quick judgments. Yet when you lovingly ask us accountability questions, our self-righteous indignation could choke God Almighty.

Please forgive us.

But I want you to hear loud and clear: You are not expendable.

You are VITAL.
You are VALUABLE.
You are LOVED.

As you stand at the vanguard of deadly spiritual warfare, it’s an amazing privilege to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you on God’s battlefield. To heartily encourage you when you are weary. To follow where God calls you to lead.

THANK YOU for your integrity and tireless commitment.

Church, when was the last time you prayed for your pastor?

10 thoughts on “Dear Pastor: Will You Forgive Us?

  1. This post is so very true and absolutely beautiful! Thank you for inscribing this on my heart today. I would also like to pray for our Pastor’s wives, who run the back 50 while our Pastors make their touchdowns. The wives who many times play the role of both Mom and Dad while our Pastors minister to us. The wives who are also criticized, judged, and sometime (God forgive us!) shamed by people who claim to be their church family. May we, as Pew People, love better, care more, be more compassionate, understanding and helpful with our Pastors and their families who serve us.

     
     
    1. Donna Pyle

      Guess what the very next post is, Linda? I love our pastors’ wives. 🙂

       
       
  2. Beautifully said! We, the Church need to learn from this, Donna. 🙏

     
     
    1. Donna Pyle

      Thank for that affirmation, Terri.

       
       
      1. Sharon

        This is true of so many Donna, however I must say, our congregation, Trinity Lutheran Church in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, where we were for 25 yrs. were extraordinary in their support of us. We went through some tough times with children, deaths and illness in the family, etc. and they were right there to lift us up in prayer, non judgmental – as far as we knew – helped us financially when numerous flights and travel were necessary and always said “GO” when needed. Oh hes, and many needed hugs were given! I do know of other Pastor’s and their families who were not this blessed. My prayer always is, we were the same support for them.

         
         
        1. Donna Pyle

          That is so wonderful to hear, Sharon. Yes, many, many pastors are blessed with supportive, loving congregations. Those are such a reflection of Jesus and the body of Christ working together as one.

           
           
  3. Pam Mintari

    Beautifully written, Donna. And so true. As the mother of a pastor’s wife, I echo Linda’s comment above. I’ve worked in the public sector and in the church world, and, of course, I’ve had a front row seat to a pastor’s life both with my son-in-law and my grandfather. I can unapologetically claim that the pastor of a church has a harder job than most CEOs. Not only is he on call 24/7 to his congregation and its staff, but those interactions are often very emotionally driven. Not only does he need to be there for them, offer advice for fixing problems, and work to carry out God’s vision for his particular church, he has to navigate the waters of how each interaction will affect their faith walk and their confidence in how their church is being managed. Then, maybe, they get to have some time with their families while having the weight of those conversations still weighing on them. Pray for them. Think twice, or three times, before being critical. Love them, and let them know it.

     
     
    1. Donna Pyle

      Your inside perspective is so vital, Pam! As a pastor’s mom, you feel those arrows that your son absorbs, too. I pray for y’all regularly and thank God for dedicated pastors daily.

       
       
  4. Mary karrick

    Comments made towards my Pastor Son in law, sting. Wives and kids of Pastors need prayers too, criticism directed towards them!

     
     
    1. Donna Pyle

      Yes, they do.

       
       

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