On a previous post, we talked about how a pastor helps his children appreciate his work, not resent it. This post explained how a pastor should help his children see how important his work is to God. As a follow-up to that post, one fruitful way to help children see the importance of a pastor’s work, is to involve them in the work. Obviously, there are many occasions where children cannot be involved in a pastor’s work: counseling, conflict mediations, marriage troubles, pastors meetings, etc.
However, when the appropriate opportunities arise, a pastor should include his children in this important work. There are appropriate times kids can make hospital and home visits, help set up for church activities, pray for church members at the dinner table, and even contribute to your sermon preparation. My daughters love to make cards for elderly widows and personally deliver them. My son loves to go work with the men of our church on Saturday mornings when there is a church work day. There is so much benefit for your family and congregation when your children are directly involved. Making the extra effort to plan and intentionally include them will at the least help them appreciate the important work their dad does, maybe even give them a love for this work as they grow up.
Pastors, do not be afraid to include your children in your work. It is important work. It helps them know what you are doing when you are gone. Who knows, it might even cause them to love your work also, especially if they get to do it with you.
A pastoral internship can accomplish many things. Some focus on polity, church structure, and how the church should function in a biblical and healthy way. Other internships focus on the work of the ministry and how best to go about it. The pastoral internship at our church focuses more on the latter. Below is the final intern report of our pastoral intern from this last term. It captures well what we hope is accomplished to some degree with our pastoral internship:
The first thing that I would like to do is thank you for allowing me to serve and learn as an intern. By you allowing me to serve in this manner, I was able to sit in on pastor’s meetings and observe first hand how they deliberately and methodically endeavor to serve each of you on a corporate and individual level. I was also able to spend quality time with Pastor Brian in weekly one-on-one meetings where I was able to pick his brain and ask him tough ministry related questions. And I was also charged with the opportunity to refine particular skills that will no doubt serve me and serve people I have yet to meet.
Through the semester I prayed through the directory, and as I visited and spent time with members, my prayers increased in fervency and frequency for you. This has set a pattern of prayer that I plan to continue when we land in a new church, and is one that I plan to encourage the pastors in our new church to do if they are not already doing so. I was also able, through the internship, to improve my preaching skills. I was granted the opportunity to preach twice this semester, an honor in every respect because we do not take the pulpit lightly. In studying and preparing for sermons, I gained valuable experience in knowing often overlooked aspects of sermon prep, like “What time of the day do I think the clearest so as to produce the best exegesis and manuscript?” and “Should I even use a manuscript or instead use an annotated outline?”
Lastly, I would to thank our pastors. Never before have my wife and I been so regularly and heartily fed and cared for—and it was done by the grace of God at the hands of our pastors. Being able to observe all this, and being cared for in this manner, has set the bar high for me and my family for future ministry.
Pastors, I would encourage you to consider beginning some kind of internship for those who might be thinking through a call into the ministry in your church. We have done a pastoral internship in our church for the last 8 years with no money in the budget. All it requires is some of your time and willingness to train and invest in these young men.
I will admit, praying the never-ending prayer list when the church gathers can turn into a meaningless, painful mantra. This is not what I am proposing. I am encouraging you to pick a couple of significant afflictions in your church to highlight through public prayer for the purpose of informing and teaching your congregation how we should face these struggles. Praying for these serious situations informs the congregation of what is going on, but it also allows you to teach your congregation how to face these difficulties by the way you pray publicly.
When you pray, pray specific biblical truths. Praise God for his sovereign power over sickness and death. Thank God for the hope we have of physical wholeness and resurrection one day because of Christ. Pray for healing if it be God’s will to heal. Pray for the gospel to be known in the lives of those who are suffering as Christ is magnified in our weakness. Pray the promise that God uses all things for our good, even sickness. Pray for the medical personnel caring for them, yet recognizing God as the great healer. Then, pray that as a local church the gospel would be seen in our faithful care of these enduring affliction.
Pastors, seize the public gatherings of the church to pray for these needs as they are not only wonderful moments to teach and motivate, but there is great power in corporate intercession. Hopefully, it will move your people to go outside the walls of your church to care for the afflicted in your church.
Two years ago today, my dear friend and pastoral mentor, Jackson Boyett and his wife, Barbara were hit by a drunk driver and killed just outside Austin, TX where they had lived and ministered at Dayspring Fellowship for almost 30 years. Jackson was one of the most faithful pastors I have ever known and his death was a devastating loss to me personally. Those who were readers of the blog this time two years ago, know that many of my posts functioned as a valuable tool of grief for me. I shared about Jackson and why he was the pastor I said, “I wanted to grow up to be one day.” I shared about what I learned from him and why he was so uniquely faithful to this calling. I shared about the gift it was to have known such a man and the opportunity to emulate his example.
In light of this two year anniversary, it has been helpful to revisit several of these posts I wrote to honor Jackson and in doing so, honor the Savior he so faithfully served while here. I re-read them with the hopes to strive to be as faithful as he was. I have been freshly reminded of the sovereign God Jackson preached so tirelessly that continues to give me hope in this loss. I have also shed fresh tears in the process. I invite you to look at them again and may this man’s pastoral example move you to strive for the same. If you are reading these posts for the first time, be challenged to shepherd the flock like this man. Pastors, if we be found half as faithful to shepherd and love people as Jackson Boyett did on behalf of our Chief Shepherd, we would be doing well and having a great kingdom impact to the glory of God.
Below you will find some of my most meaningful posts. Read, remember, and give thanks to God for the rare example of a real pastor.
In loving memory of my dear friend and pastoral mentor…
What final words does a pastor speak to his congregation?
How do you pray for the man appointed to preach the Sunday after his pastor suddenly dies?
Book recommendation…Reckless Abandon
What can a depressed person do daily while fighting for joy?