Spiritual leaders go through a lot of trials because they are making a difference for the Kingdom of God. Just saw some of these statistics from an itinerant speaker's promo piece:
-40% of the ministers currently pastoring will be in a different line of work in 10 years.
-90% felt inadequately trained to cope with the demands of their job.
-80% felt ministry affected their family in a negative way.
-70% of the ministers have a lower self-image now than when they started the ministry.
-70% have no one they can call a friend.
-50% have considered leaving the ministry in the last 3 months.
(source: Focus on the Family)
Wow! Have you encouraged your pastor lately? This is a part of spiritual growth. One question you should ask yourself frequently is are you being a blessing or a curse to your pastor?
"Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit" (Hebrews 13:17, NLT).
Have you ever heard the saying "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" The same is true, God tells us, from the Scriptures: If Pastor ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!
Here's some practical things you could do to encourage those over you in the Lord:
-Send them a thank you card in the mail with a testimony of how they've impacted your life.
-Send them a present in the mail like a gift card to a restaurant or coffee shop.
-Send them money in the mail for a date with their spouse or friend.
-Invite them over for a grandiose "thanksgiving" style dinner, and send them home with the leftovers.
-Spend some focused time of prayer for them and your local church.
-Keep criticism and slander to yourself. Repent of any past time you have done this. Apologize in person if necessary.
-Be creative with other ways you can do this. Persecution may come from the world, but it
should never come from within the Body of Christ.