Friday, May 22, 2009

Is Your Pastor Preyed-on or Prayed-for?


Be a Barnabas to Your Pastor

It's time to do a bit of shepherding for the shepherd.

Last fall John Maxwell related the following story in an article for Good News magazine. During his first weeks as senior pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church near San Diego, John’s schedule was packed. Nevertheless, he agreed to meet with Bill Klassen, a layman he did not know.

"John," Bill said, "I believe God has called me, a layman, to disciple, encourage, and pray for pastors. And the reason I came here today was so that I could pray for you."

"I wept at the knowledge that God would send someone just to pray for me," Maxwell later admitted. Klassen was steadfast in prayer for Maxwell, and during the next 14 years, Skyline Wesleyan tripled in size, and Maxwell became a national leader in the church growth movement.

A similar scenario took place centuries ago. Around A.D. 47 the apostle Paul embarked on his first missionary journey. By his side was a faithful companion, Joseph of Cyprus, nicknamed Barnabas, or "Son of Encouragement." Why the title? Because Barnabas stood with Paul through shipwrecks, stonings and rejection.

A similar scenario took place centuries ago. Around A.D. 47 the apostle Paul embarked on his first missionary journey. By his side was a faithful companion, Joseph of Cyprus, nicknamed Barnabas, or "Son of Encouragement." Why the title? Because Barnabas stood with Paul through shipwrecks, stonings and rejection.

Who encourages your pastor?

Christian pollster George Barna has discovered that "pastors are the single most occupationally frustrated professionals in America." Yet that needn’t be so. Scripture makes it clear that we are to give special affirmation to our spiritual leaders. In 1 Timothy 5:17 we read, "The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching."

You needn’t risk life and limb to be a modern-day Barnabas to your pastor, but there are some simple ways you can encourage him all year long.===>Click headline to access complete article . . .



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