1 Corinthians 4:8-13 (NRSV)
We are weak, but you are strong
Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Quite apart from us you have become kings! Indeed, I wish that you had become kings, so that we might be kings with you! For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, as though sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to mortals. We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clothed and beaten and homeless, and we grow weary from the work of our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we speak kindly. We have become like the rubbish of the world, the dregs of all things, to this very day.
Wow! Today’s devotion reminds us that there is often a price to be paid for giving your life over to the work of full time ministry and/or evangelism.
Although, being a pastor, evangelist, or lay leader may appear to be a very glamorous lifestyle, very often it is not.
I have read many studies that show that people in full time ministry are some of the most burned out, stressed out, depressed, anxious, and worried people around! The long hours, poor pay, and lack of understanding and appreciation take a toll on ordained and lay leaders, as well as on their marriages and families!
In today’s scripture Paul says that as an apostle he feels like “a spectacle, fool, weakling, and man of disrepute.” He says that he suffers from “hunger, thirst, lack of adequate clothing and rest, homelessness, and violence.” He says that often he is “reviled, persecuted, slandered, and made to feel like the rubbish of the world!” It sounds like Paul was justifiably singing, “Lord, Help Me To Hold Out!”
Oh my! What terrible bad news for our clergy people and lay leaders! What can be done?
Well, first of all, it is incumbent upon all of us to pray for the leadership in our churches. The Bible says that the prayers of the righteous availeth much (James 5:16)! As we say our daily prayers, let’s remember to include our pastors, youth leaders, worship leaders, and anyone else offering professional ministry in your local church!
Secondly, let us remember to show visible and tangible love and appreciation to the leaders of our churches! It never hurts to offer a word of encouragement, to say “thank you or well-done,” or to write a card or email in appreciation for a particular ministry or service rendered. Often, simply hearing that s/he is appreciated is enough to put a smile on a pastor or lay leader’s face!
Third, let us remember to encourage and support our church leaders to attend to self-care and family care. Just as we need to spend time with our spouses and children so that our marriages and families will be healthy and whole, so to do the leaders of our churches.
Additionally, it is a good idea to encourage your pastor to observe a weekly Sabbath, take vacation days, attend to continuing education opportunities, develop a hobby or passion outside of the walls of the church, and spend daily quiet time with God in Bible Study and prayer. When your pastor and his/her family are happy, healthy, holy, and whole, the entire ministry will flourish!
Finally, let us all remember, that a pastor/lay leader is but one human being! Although s/he is paid, full-time, staff of the church, it is incumbent upon all of us to roll up our sleeves and do the work of sharing the GOOD NEWS, making disciples, and offering ministry and service to “the least of these.”
When a pastor or lay leader knows that the entire church family is invested in the ministry of the church, the work does not feel as lonely or as tiresome!
Let us remember, in the final analysis, there is only one Lord and Savior, and His name is JESUS!
Please do not put your pastor up on a pedestal to topple to his/her demise! Only God is worthy of all of our worship, praise, and adoration. Only God can be counted on 24/7/365 to rescue us from seen and unseen dangers and despair. Only God is able to answer our every question, make provision for our every need, and care for our every concern. And only God is perfect and without sin, failure, mistake, or blemish.
Your pastor will do all that s/he can do to be a good pastor to you, but please don’t ask—or expect—your pastor to be Jesus! Jesus is an original; there is simply no one like Him! (smile)
Will you make it a priority to pray for your pastor today? Will you also make it your business to find a way to show him/her your love and appreciation this week?
Dear God, I am so grateful for the pastors and lay leaders who make such a difference in my place of worship! I know that their jobs are not easy. I want to do everything I can to support their very important work! Please help me to show my love and appreciation every single day. Please help me to become very committed to praying for my pastor on a daily basis. Please help me to do all that I can to lighten her/his load. I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Congratulations to all of those people who have recently put all of their hope in Jesus! Welcome to the Christian family! We love you and we are praying for you even now in Jesus’ Name!
If you would like to put all of your hope in Jesus today, please visit my blog entitled, “Putting All Your Hope In Jesus” located at
If you have additional questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come to Jesus"
Pastor Yolanda is now publishing another blog entitled, “A Spoken WORD” in celebration of Holy Hip Hop, Gospel/Christian Rap and Spoken Word. Please check it out @ http://aspokenword.blogspot.com/
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From Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com