I am not the type of person to ask for much, especially from the congregation I lead. I have no desire for expensive gifts, overseas vacations or any other kind of compensation. The leadership makes sure I get paid, and I am happy with what they give me. BUT there are a few things that I want from the people I lead each week that will help make my ministry more pleasant.
1. Your Prayers. Words cannot express how much I appreciate your prayers. Frequently I am caught a spiritual battle for my mind. Sometimes it comes through disappointment and feelings of inadequacy. Sometimes it comes through the flesh and the carnal desires of life. Sometimes it comes through pride and arrogance that stand contrary to the work of God. Pray for me to have spiritual strength through the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. Your Support. I never want to feel like I am the hired gun of the Church to do ministry alone. My hope is to be a part of a community of believers who are all working together for the glory of God. Yes, I get paid to do this job, but I still need the support of the body to extend beyond my own limitations.
3. Your Kindness. Treat me like a real person with real emotions. I am not asking you to do anything special for me. Just treat me like you would any other believer. Smile. Shake my hand. Talk to me about things other than Church. Invite me to do things. Speak kindly to me and about me. Don’t treat me as an evil villain or as a superhero, just as a fellow believer.
4. Your Trust. Honestly, not everything I do will be right. I will make some poor decisions. Sometimes it will be the right decision, and you will just not like it. That is okay; we do not have to agree on everything. What I am asking you for is the benefit of the doubt. I want you to know that my desire is to further God’s kingdom and nothing more. I am not making decisions to make you mad or just as a power trip; I am doing what I think is right. Trust my heart even when you do not understand or agree.
5. Your Love for My Family. God brought me to this Church to be their preacher and leader; my family just came along for the ride. My wife donates significant amounts of time to the Church. My children have no other option but to come here each week. When people are friendly to them, it means more to me than when you are kind to me. I want my Church to pray for them, talk to them rather than about them, and show them love and support.
This is my list of hopes from my congregation. I hope none of them are selfish. These just make life and ministry more enjoyable. Near the end of the letter to the Hebrew Church, there is this great statement. The people of God are told to work with their leaders “so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17)”
Thanks to everyone who makes my work a joy and not a burden.