With October being Pastor Appreciation Month, it is a time to stop and thank our pastors for all the hard work they do. Before becoming a bi-vocational pastor a few months ago, I was a youth pastor for almost four years. I can honestly say that when the church pours into you, it sets a tone for your ministry.
I recently preached on Proverbs 27:17, which states, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” One thing to notice in the verse is the word “countenance,” which is the Hebrew word paniym. Paniym means “person,” so the verse is telling us to sharpen the person.
The sharpening is important for a Christian walk. Think about the last time you tried to use a dull knife. It was probably a task that was less than desirable because the tool you were using was not fit for the job.
The same could be true in our walk with the Lord. If we are not sharp and ready to go, we are not going to be as effective as we could be. Remember, Scripture tells us to be constant in season and out of season, therefore we need to be sharp in season and out.
That is why as pastors we need our churches to come alongside us to help sharpen us. It is also good for pastors to “yoke up” with other pastors to stay sharp. The verse does not say, “One man sharpens and everybody else gets sharp.” If that was the case, pastors would be like an axe that was continuously used but never refined, and that axe would not be very good for splitting wood after a time of use.
A lot goes into pastoring aside from just preaching sermons with visitations, counseling, and being part of the business of the church. If your pastor continuously is pouring out and nothing is coming back, he will be just like a vessel that will eventually become empty. Take the time this month to set aside an opportunity to sharpen your pastor. Let him know how much you care about him and love him. Let him know that you are a backer.
Brother Mark Purser preached part of our recent revival at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, and he expounded on backing our pastors, to be there to support them. What happened at the end of the message was something I had never experienced before. During the invitation members of my church walked the aisle and told me that they were behind me, and although I already knew this, hearing it and seeing their physical obedience to this call put me over the moon.
So, when I close my sermons, I like to issue challenges because the message should not just stay inside the four walls of the church. In that same vein, I want to challenge you. Do not just take this article and not act. Tell your pastor that you are there for him. Help him in his ministry however you can. Sharpen your pastor, just like he sharpens you every week.