Ephesians 4:11-13 (NLT) 11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ
Read again the list of gifts that Christ gave to the Church. Did you notice that “minister” is not listed here. Have you ever wondered why? Ministering to church members is not their responsibility. Look at verse 12. Their job is to teach us (God’s people) to do the ministering. They are to teach and equip us to do God’s work. That work includes ministering to one another, building each other up, taking care of the sick, fixing meals, etc. The early church understood this as we are shown in Acts 6:2-6
2 So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. 3 And so, brothers, select seven men who are well-respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. 4 Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.” 5 Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). 6 These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.
Our pastors spend most of their time doing the job that God intended for us to do. Is it any wonder that they experience burnout? Planning messages, overseeing the church and its staff, performing weddings and officiating at funerals keeps them busy. We have been spoiled and taught the wrong way to look at our pastors. Just because they should have a servant’s heart and attitude does not give us the right to treat them as a servant. Pastors are fallible humans just like we are, they are not super humans given to us to abuse.
Take the time to visit your pastor and ask him/her how you can best pray for him. Just remember, keep your visits short and respect his/her time, not everyone has learned this lesson yet. Pray for him/her everyday and show your appreciation often.