To the Pastor of the Small Church:
I see you.
You're my friend. You're my colleague. You're my co-laborer. And secretly, you're one of my heroes. Maybe that last statement seems odd to you. Give me a moment to explain.
I see you, Pastor. Week in and week out you're the one that prepares sermons. You spend hours each week, studying, preparing, talking to God, and asking Him to talk back. You give your best, your all.... And you preach your heart out on Sundays to a small crowd of good, faithful people. I see you.
I see you on Wednesday afternoons, as you're trying to pump yourself up for the weekend. You tell yourself that you won't be discouraged by the small crowd Sunday, because you love these people and they alone are worthy of your best. I see you as your heart wrestles. In the deepest part of your heart, you know that they alone are enough - you believe wholly that these people deserve everything that you've got to give. But it doesn't stop the flooding thoughts that come into your mind - the lies from the Enemy that tell you you're not enough. That somehow you've gotten this whole ministry thing wrong. The thoughts that tell you God's not satisfied with your best. If He were, you'd be growing. If only you were as good as him or her - then you'd really be doing something big for God. I see you.
I see you on Saturday at 8pm. On this particular Saturday you've done an outreach event in your community and you're tired. But you're excited about what God will do tomorrow. You're expectant. You're prayerful. You're wondering if this will be the weekend that a spark ignites and revival breaks out. You toss and turn in your sleep because you anticipate something new tomorrow. After all, you've worked and you've labored all day. How could you not see results?
I see you on Sunday morning. You're there extra early to pray and meditate before people start showing up. You invite God once again to make Himself known. You surrender your heart, thoughts, and words to Jesus and then you pour yourself a cup of coffee and wait. Your two faithful families show up right on time and you exchange a few words of excitement about what God will do today. A few more trickle in and the clock is winding down. Five minutes 'till service begins.
Some well-meaning person pats you on the back as you're about to walk on stage and says, "Well, I guess we just can't compete with the NFL, can we?" Your heart sinks and you realize that you've got to get up on stage and preach your heart out to the 40 faithful people who showed up again this week. And you do. And you realize that you can't let them see how disappointed you actually are, because they deserve a pastor who believes that the best days are still ahead. In your heart, you're pleading with God to help you still believe that.
I see you on Monday morning, Pastor. You're on your third cup of coffee and it's not even noon. You're worn out. Physically, spiritually, emotionally. Monday mornings are lonely. While other pastors are having meetings and processing the weekend with their staff, you sit alone at your desk and you cry out to God.
"Can I keep doing this? Can I keep believing? Can I keep visioning? Why, God? Why is this journey so hard? I've been faithful, God. Our people have been faithful. We desire to see revival, God. What am I doing wrong? Why aren't we growing?"
Hey, Pastor. I see you. And I'd like to tell you why you're secretly my hero. It's because you get up day after day and you keep doing the faithful task of shepherding your flock. It's because your journey is discouraging, but you keep serving your God with grace and compassion. It's because you're walking by faith and not by sight - you can't always see what God is doing or how He's working or the fruit for your labor, but you keep your heart sensitive to the Spirit and you allow Him to assure you that the best days truly are ahead.
I believe the Holy Spirit has something to say to you today, Pastor. I truly believe God wants you to hear these words.... He wants you to know:
He sees you.
He sees you. And He's incredibly proud of you. He sees your faithful work. He sees your discouraged heart. He sees the tears you cry and the questions you ask and He is proud to call you His. He sees you on Wednesdays and Saturdays and Sundays and Mondays. And through all of the ups and downs of being a small church pastor, He sees you. Your work is not done in vain. You are His and He is yours. You're not a failure, you're not subpar, and you're not missing the mark. You are enough.
I'm praying for you today, Pastor. For encouragement and steadiness. For life to be spoken over you and into you. For blessing and perspective. For you to know that you are enough. For a sense of peace and pride in being His called. You're not alone, Pastor. You are never alone.
In this together,
Hi! My name is Stephanie, and I'm the girl behind this blog! I'm a pastor and a writer and a lover of all things chocolate. As you browse the content on this page, I hope you find yourself encouraged and smiling. At some moments, perhaps you would even shed a tear or two. Most importantly, I pray you find hope in whatever season you're walking through. We are in this journey together, and my calling is to encourage you along the way!