"Obey your leaders and do what they say. They are watching over you, and they must answer to God. So don’t make them sad as they do their work. Make them happy. Otherwise, they won’t be able to help you at all” (Hebrews 13:17, Contemporary English Version).
“Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit” (Hebrews 13:17, New Living Translation).
“Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them?” (Hebrews 13:17, The Message)
A survey on American clergy by the Schaeffer Institute found some of the following information:
· 90% of pastors report working between 55-75 hours per week.
· 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
· 50% of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they had another job lined-up right away.
· 80% of pastors believe church ministry has negatively affected their families.
· 80% of pastoral spouses feel lonely and underappreciated by church members.
· 40% of pastors report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
· 50% of pastors starting out will not last five years.
· Only 10% of pastors will actually retire as pastors.
· Over 1,700 pastors leave the ministry every month in the United States; 1,300 of them are fired by their churches.
· The number one reason pastors leave the ministry is that church people are not willing to go the same direction and support the goal of the pastor; pastors believe God wants them to go in one direction but the people are not willing to follow.
Speaking as a pastor, the one thing I want every single church member to know about me is this: Your prayer support is my life support. Without regular, earnest, sustained, fervent, and constant prayers sent for me and my family, no matter how hard I labor or how much I work the ministry will go nowhere. But with habitual and spirited prayer, even the most anemic weaknesses can be transcended and the church can grow with thriving health and joy.
Lift up prayers for your pastor today and every day, appealing to God concerning these things:
P rotection from the enemy
A nointing of the Spirit
Y ielded heart to God
E ffectiveness in ministry
R ighteous life of integrity