Last night I was stunned to learn of the tragic death of a pastor. I did not personally know him, but a few of my friends did. I grieve for his wife and his kids. I may not know what personal demons he was battled, but I do know the deadly danger of isolation that many ministers and their families face. No one can relate to ministers quite like other ministers do. Therefore, we must understand that we need each other. We have to be intentional about loving and ministering to one another. Here are three ways we can fulfill this needed task.
Commit to Pray for Other Ministers
Few things are as impactful to me as hearing from a ministry friend who was thinking of and praying for me. Discipline yourself to do this for others. Set aside one day a week to pray for your ministry friends. For example, designate Wednesday as” Workers in the Kingdom” Wednesday. For a portion of your prayer time, pray specifically for other pastors. Colossians 1:9-14 provides an excellent template. Praying different Psalms over others is helpful as well.
Contact Other Ministers
It is easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of ministry and lose contact with other co-laborers. Tonight on hearing the news, my first instinct was to grab the phone and reach out to others whom I care about. I wanted them to know someone cares and they were not alone. Take a few moments each week to call or text a friend in the ministry. You may be the lifeline they need at the moment they need it the most. You may not be in the same zip code but you are definitely in the same kingdom.
Connect With Other Ministers
Prayer and contact are helpful, but we must also be intentional about connecting with other ministers near us. A pastor who sees other churches and pastors as threats or rivals is sorely myopic and missing the point of the Great Commission. We have a king to serve and His kingdom to build, and therefore we need one another. Some of the most encouraging moments for me are coffee and lunch meetings at local establishments with my brothers. In those moments you are afforded the privilege of just being yourself and not having to be the pastor. We can let down our guard and be with one another. These conversations can be about life, sports, family, or other interests but what it creates is connections that help strengthen one another.
Brothers, we need each other. Pray. Contact. Connect.
If you are a pastor needing help and feel you have no one, please call 1-844-Pastor1. It is a free, confidential helpline for pastors provided by Focus on the Family and the North American Mission Board.