Easter of 2020 will be one of the more memorable for all of us. It is the day which puts the greatest amount of emphasis on the core of our faith. In 2020, it also highlighted the fragile nature of our earthly lives. As I begin my Monday morning of work, meetings, video conference calling, and generally staying at home, I want to offer a few words of encouragement to pastors.
It is a time for you to do deep reflecting upon what it means to be a pastor. Assessing your work in a time of crisis is an unparalleled opportunity. Currently, most of what you are doing is pastoral care and online preaching. How is this time affecting your view of disciple-making and leading your church?
Dig deeper into the hope of the gospel. For those who have free exercise of religion, we are advantaged to have as many Bibles as we wish to own and attend as many church services as we like. The pandemic causes us to face our mortality and question where we find our strength. It is another chance for you to assess your ministry’s message and see if it truly is about relying on the gospel, or on some form of religious self-help process.
Discover partners in the community. Isolation sabotages the Christian life. Leaders are just as susceptible to this danger. The pandemic is no excuse for you to be alone. There are more online collaborations, conference calls, and connections possible than ever before. After weeks of staying in, we are yearning for personal connections again. Take this week to call that fellow church leader in your city and make a personal connection. Pray together, laugh together, share war stories, and then pray some more. Make this week the start of a long-term friendship and partnership for the gospel’s impact in your community.
Contemplate your own spiritual growth. With a lack of office time, committee meetings, and events to manage, you may have time to assess your own spiritual journey. In the non-stop work of church leadership, have you neglected your own spiritual life? It is possible and all too common. Pastor, take these stay-at-home days as a time to pray bold prayers or weep bitter tears. Perhaps it will be a combination of both. But, for the sake of God’s glory and your good, allow the Spirit of God to have His way with your heart.
Pray for revival and awakening. After every major crisis, there is a increase in religious activity. The COVID-19 pandemic will likely result in the same. Commit that in your life and the life of your church to pray for a Spirit-led revival of the church and spiritual awakening of the culture. We need both. May God be merciful to hear our cry and send about a sweeping movement of His Spirit in our cities.
Pastor, I’m praying for you. May you sense God’s deep love for you as you labor in His harvest field.