February 21-22, 2009
The Pastor’s Burden
By himself, your pastor simply cannot bear all the burdens of his entire flock. Particularly in small churches, the pastor must wear many hats—he is visitor to the sick and elderly, counselor, business manager, referee, and the list goes on. Certainly the minister desires to meet your needs and those of your fellow congregants, but he is only one person. Even in large churches, the staff are too few in number to do the burden bearing alone.
As you pray for your pastor and church, ask the Lord, “Is there some way I can share the load and meet the people’s needs?” What you may not realize is that your pastor and his staff are not equipped to deal with every circumstance. In some situations, you are more capable of empathizing and encouraging fellow believers because you have experienced challenges similar to theirs.
The church is a community. We must all become part of a “network of shoulders” supporting the collective weight of our fellowship’s troubles. In other words, you get under a sister’s burden while a brother takes on a bit of yours. Your contribution might seem small and go unnoticed by all but the individual who is helped. Yet your heavenly Father sees and will reward you for following His command.
When you take your seat in a Sunday service or mid-week Bible study, keep your spiritual antennae up. Allow God to direct you to those who are burdened. With you acting as Christ’s hands, people will find rest for their weary hearts.
Extra Column—Exploring the Bible:
“Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Ps. 55:22).
“He said, “Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers” (Luke 11:46).
“Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves” (Rom. 15:1).
“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important” (Gal. 6:1-3 nlt).
“[Cast] all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
This Bible combines the wisdom of Scripture with the principles that guide Dr. Charles Stanley's life and empower his ministry. Order your copy.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2008 All Rights Reserved.