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Preparingfor a New Pastor: Pray for the Family

This is the third in a series on how our church can prepare for a new Pastor.

The fourth piece of advice how our church can prepare for a new Pastor may seem obvious. But as with many things in life, sometimes the obvious can often be overlooked. As a church, let us pray not only for the Pastor, but the Pastor’s family as well. In this reflection, I’d like to not only consider the fact that we should pray for the Pastor’s family, but how we can pray for the new Pastor’s family.

Why we should pray for the Pastor’s family:

Unless the new Pastor is single, chances are the Chinese Pastor will be coming with a family. The Pastor moving into a new position will not just be an adjustment for the Pastor, but for their family as well. The spouse will need to sense a call to this church. The kids will have to adjust to a new school, a new life and a new church family. As we pray for a new Pastor in our church, let us pray for their family. The reason we do this is simply this: it is an act of love. We are called to love those who shepherd and feed us.

The Wounded Shepherd
I’m hesitant to mention this from the simple reason that the statement could be misinterpreted to mean that being spiritually wounded is simply, “part of the job”. But at the same time, because we live in this fallen world, miscommunications, hurts, and pains are part of ministry. Sometimes the Pastor’s strengths and weaknesses will cause pain and hurt to people. And those who are being shepherded can cause pain and grief. But brokenness is the way that God chooses to refine His servants. Christ lived a broken life and as Christ followers, we serve with our scars. At times, the Pastor’s family can feel the shepherd’s pain. As with any family, the difficulty is to still respond in faithful obedience in the midst of pain.

Pray for the family as they adjust. If the Pastor is young, they may not carry the weight of previous ministries, and the wounds received here will be new. But if the Pastor is experienced, the family may carry wounds from previous ministries. Pray that the church can support and encourage the Pastor.

It’s not a Two for One-is it?
When I was hired at GCC, I discussed with the consistory that my wife was to be treated as an ordinary member of the church. This was not a two for one deal. However, although the Pastor’s wife may not have an official role, her role to the husband is very important. My wife has been my counsel time and time again. There were times when I wanted to do something rash but was held back by my wife’s advice. Other times, I had wanted to ignore something, but was encouraged by my wife to take something more seriously.

There are also unspoken expectations that we have here at GCC. My wife and I didn’t realize it, until we served here for a season, but many in the congregation had expectations that my wife would be able to give godly advice and wisdom. At first my wife was caught off guard by the idea, but God had brought her to a place where she found confidence in Christ to be able to speak and counsel other women.

Pray for their Kids
As a Pastor’s Kid, I’m grateful that (at least not in front of me) most people didn’t tell me that I shouldn’t do something because I’m the Pastor’s son. On one hand, there was a healthy sense of honor in my father’s position. As a result, I didn’t want to go too far in my rebellion. But on the other hand, for the most part, the church seemed to understand well that I was just a regular kid. I wasn’t untouchable to correction. At times I needed to be corrected. At the same time, I wasn’t taught to perform just becausemy father was the Pastor. Pastor’s kids need to hear the gospel just like anyone else. They need to know their need for a Savior. Pray for the Pastor’s children-they are kids just like other kids