Maybe we are the ones failing our church

I want to share something that has been very heavy on my heart lately in hopes that the ache in my heart will stir something in yours. My intensions in writing this need to be very clear because I don't want this to be a post that makes anyone feel picked on or judged but instead I want this to be a call for change. A change that is so needed and has always been deeply needed but that has been ignored.
Julie De Waroquier

I set out on a little mission that the Holy Spirit placed on my heart and I didn't know how important it was until now. I was simply spending six weeks refueling my pastoral team through little gifts and prayer cards. The gifts I happily provided but the cards I wanted to be from the people in the church. My thought on this was, how great will it be for our leaders to see how dearly loved and supported they are. As I set out on this the feedback I got was so disheartening. It was so rare to find anyone who was actually excited or even supportive of the idea of writing these simple prayer cards for our pastors. I had a really hard time with this the first day and left filled with a lot of anger and disappointment in our church. I realize that there are so many more people in the church who I didn't talk to but I really felt in my heart that we are missing something as a church family. We are falling short somewhere.

I am completely aware of the fact that writing is not something everyone is gifted with and that this task made a lot of people uncomfortable. Not to mention that to most of these people I am sadly a stranger and it seems that church is a place where we go and try to keep our head down. But this is so wrong and this is so saddening to God. Church is supposed to be something so different and so much deeper.

I know this isn't a feel good topic and you probably want to close the page now especially if you are feeling convicted about this but please keep reading. The church in not a building run by mighty men and filled with worker bees. The church is US! We have the power to change this and the power to make our "church" a home, a safe haven, and a family.

And this is where our pastors come in. They have been put in a place of leadership by God and that is a huge task. I think we are so quick to think that it is there job to make "church" what we want it to be and to fix it when it falls short but I am starting to really understand how flawed that is. We hold these leaders on a pedestal and we are forgetting that they are the same as us. They need prayer, encouragement and they run dry and become broken just like we do. They cannot carry the weight of our whole church on their shoulders. It is our job to make this house of believers into a church and it is us, the "worker bees" who are supposed to fix it when it's broken.

It is you and me who show up on sundays asking to be filled and comforted who are supposed to be giving our love, our souls, and our lives to every single person walking in that door. This sounds daunting and like it's much too big for us but we are here to live like Jesus did and that is what Jesus did!

So if you're sitting there and wondering what does that mean for me or what am I supposed to do next? I can help you and it's so simple where to start.

Our Attitudes need to change

First we need to change our attitudes when it comes to caring for others and when it comes to praying for our pastors especially. The bible is very clear about this.

"Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality." - Romans 12:11-13

"Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!"- Psalms 100:2

We are called to be joyful and passionate when it comes to serving God and praying. If you don't know what this looks like or if you lost this then pray my dear friends, pray with an urgent and believing spirit. God will give us anything we ask for when we pray His will and I stand here with full confidence that  feeling joy and passion in our faith is most definitely a part of His will!

We Need To Pray For Our Pastors!

"Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching."- 1 Timothy 5:17

Where do you think this "double honor" comes from? We are supposed to lift them up and treasure them. We are called to give them "double honor".

"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you." Hebrews 13:17

They are "keeping watch over our souls" and we are letting them down. We are hesitant to pray for them and to encourage them and they have been given this huge task. All we are asked to do is make sure they are doing it with joy. They are running dry because we aren't helping lift them. You might think they should get this from God because it's true that we are supposed to get all of our joy and fulfillment from the Lord but what if God sent us here, to this church, to be his hands and feet to fill and uplift these leaders who are called to "keep watch over [our] souls".

"Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches." - Galatians 6:6

This is not a subtle requests sisters and brothers. We have a job to do and we are not doing it. We are walking through those doors sunday morning and we are being filled and then we are walking right back out and continuing our lives. It is time for a change in our church and not just the building I go to in my town but in all of our churches. Let us start a new revolution, let us take this simple call and let's blow it up. Let's pray with fervent spirits for our pastors, let's encourage and love them with joy and with urgency.
Come together

Let's stop asking for a church to be something better but let's be the church that's better! 

Let's bring glory and tears of joy to our savior's eyes because we are walking through those doors on sunday morning just like He would! 

Let's stop being the christians and the churches that the world is accusing us of being!

Let's Pray

I want to help you make this real in your life. I want to help you start and it's so simple. So if you are struggling with the words to pray or just need a helping hand here are some verses that you can pray for your pastors.

Psalm 31:23- "Love the Lord, all you his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord."

Galatians 6:9- "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."

Ephesians 2:10- "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Hebrews 13:20-21- "Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, though Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen."

2 Corinthians 9:8- "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work."

1 Corinthians 3:6- "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth."

2 Corinthians 2:14- "But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal possession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere."

Deuteronomy 28:2- "And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God."

Dear Heavenly Father,
I come to you now with an urgent spirit. I have fallen short and have failed the leaders you have blessed me with. They are running dry and I have let it happen. I come to you now asking for change. Change in my own heart and in the hearts of all my brothers and sisters. May we have a heart that deeply desires to do your work and a heart that finds overflowing joy in coming to you in prayer. I lift our pastors and elders up to you now. I pray that they would be filled with a new sense of love for you, that they may be strengthened and that their hearts would be courageous for you. I pray that they would find joy and peace while waiting for you and that their work would be out of love for you and not out of pride. Please keep them from growing weary in their work, in their faith, and in their home lives. Help them to walk in the workmanship that you have created for them and show them that their work is bringing joy to you. Equip them with everything good and everything from you so that their work and their lives may be pleasing in your sight and that it may bring you glory forever and ever. Please make grace abound to them and I pray that they may have all the sufficiency of you that they may do your good work. May they take rest in the knowledge that they are planting and watering seeds but you alone are making them grow. Spread the fragrance of your knowledge through them everywhere they go. May your blessing come upon them and overtake them and may they have the support they need to continue to obey you and hear your voice.

Print this if you need or want to and carry it with you. These leaders our God has blessed us with NEED us! They need our prayer, they need our love, they need our encouragement, and they need to see, feel and hear of our passion and joy. My dear friends, we are failing and that is a very hard thing to face and to admit but God's grace is sufficient and we can change. I am here emptying myself to you all and am fully admitting that I have been failing for so long and I want to be different for you, for my leaders and for my God. This will be a constant struggle and we will have to start over time after time but let's start now. Let's start changing our church and our family now by taking care of the people God has given us to lead and guide us.

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