I want to share what I feel are some of the major challenges for me as a pastor. I pray they will help you better understand me.
1st Challenge: Being sensitive to someone who wants to tell you something, many times something negative about someone else, right before you preach. Any Pastor worth his salt puts hours into his sermons. He is focused on prayer and clearly presenting God’s Word before he steps into the pulpit. When someone approaches him about a matter or issue that could have possibly waited until the service was over it can break his focus. I try to show grace but it’s sometimes a challenge!
2nd Challenge: Knowing what do with a church member who is not contributing positively to the ministry. One who takes every opportunity to impact the ministry with negative criticism or their belief, which is often contrary to the churches doctrinal position.
The challenge is, do I write them off, even if they are an ill fit for the church or accept their challenging behavior and move forward knowing even though their behavior is un-Christian, it will help me grow stronger as a christian and Pastor.
3rd Challenge: Loving people who seem to be your critic. We want to be Christ-like and love people unconditionally. I admit that I sometimes see critics of the church and the pastor through their hypocritical false words instead of seeing them through the eyes of Christ. However, it is a challenge!
4th Challenge: Preparing more than one quality sermon a week. As a pastor, I want to present “hit it out of the park for the glory of God” sermons every week. Frankly, that is a tough challenge, especially when you know some of your sermons may hit the congregation in the “Oh Me” part of the heart. Very few people know the prayer, research and hard work that goes into his sermon preparation. So, when you smile and let him know the sermon helped you in your spiritual life, it is like saying sick’em to a mad bull dog.
5th Challenge: Doing the funeral for a non-Christian person. I am not a judge, but the bible gives us the guideline to be a good fruit inspector. We can always hope the deceased had a deathbed conversion that we are not aware of. My biblical belief is that a sure sign of a christian life is a transformed life (Rom. 12:1-2). We can share the gospel to those present, but it is extremely difficult to talk about the deceased if he or she was lost.
I hope these five pastoral challenges will help you better understand your pastor and know more about how to pray for him. I truly love every person who walks through the doors of my church.