On the one hand, church leaders should correctly preach the Word of God; on the other hand, they should do a good job in church administration and public relations. Church pastors should also be engaged in the practical needs of believers’ lives. Therefore, we have to admit that the ministry of church pastors is indeed strenuous work.
As church pastors, how can they improve and recharge themselves? Recently Pastor D in East China shared how he improved himself to serve the church better.
The first suggestion is that pastors should commune with one another, encouraging and caring for one another.
Pastor D shared that he was lucky to have several like-minded pastors and friends. For example, he would meet and communicate with them at regular times twice a month, mostly for Bible study and discussion. Through such fellowship, they encouraged, cared for, and prayed for one another, thus leading the church to break through difficulties more powerfully.
Second, pastors should adhere to daily spiritual practice.
D stressed that daily spiritual practices should be taken very seriously. His spiritual practices are divided into two parts: reading and writing. And the reading part is further divided into fast reading and intensive reading. His favorite books are Genesis, John, Romans and Revelation, which he would choose to read intensively. The fast reading part is to read the books of the New Testament one by one. Every time he reads, he selects a passage and write it down for personal meditation. He believes that by reading God's Word itself, the Lord is speaking to him, and he has to respond to this Word.
Third, read widely every day.
Pastor D also keeps on reading many different kinds of books every day, including spiritual, theological and academic books. He would set aside an hour for reading and writing down what he had learned and appreciated every day. He would also actively share and apply them in the following ministry such as sharing them in the pastoral fellowship.
Fourth, keep praying every day.
Pastor D also stressed the need to pay attention to prayer. He would offer prayers for the needs of the church, co-workers, and believers. Through prayer, he would also constantly discover his lack and needs to be pitied by God, thus making his ministry often in a state of humility and hunger before God.
Under the three-year pandemic situation, many church pastoral co-workers are faced with the dilemma that it is difficult for the church to have new pastors. Some co-workers are burdened with mortgage loans, and some have no social security, so their children couldn't go to school. These real difficulties often distract pastors from serving the Lord attentively and efficiently.
We believe that many pastors would also use some other methods flexibly to feed themselves in their own situation. No matter what the method is, the point is that we should see pastors' need to be shepherded and cared for more. I also hope that more pastors can have time to be alone, and they can bring vitality to the church and the people they serve and witness the name of Christ through fellowship, daily spiritual practice, reading, application, and prayer.
- Translated by Stephen Huang