Nourishing Those Who Nourish Us: Understanding the Struggles of Pastoral Ministry

Jeremiah 38:6
Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchia the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.

Who will bring water to the man of God? It is often the case that, while ministering to others who are thirsty and in need of the Water of Life, the man of God suffers from thirst himself.

It is not uncommon at all for the very Word of God that he carries to minister to some, will at the same time offend others, who will in turn put him in the dungeons of their own creation. Have you not noticed? Just think about it; how many have, like Jeremiah, done nothing but fulfill his call of delivering the Word of God, and all he gets from those who would otherwise benefit from his ministry is a slanderous remark and a rebellious spirit?

Here is the most dreadful part of this scenario; those who have put the preacher in the pit where there is no water, and where there is only mire, will at the same time scoff at him and make sport of him as though the mire is his own doings! Many have been the preachers through the years, which have at last sunken into the mire devised by his enemies, and at the same time ridiculed for his being in that mire!

Remember this; preachers are human too! We cannot expect them to be Superman! We cannot expect to lash at him with our tongues while expecting him to just bounce back and walk on water! Many carnal congregations have sapped the very life out of their pastors by their tongue lashings, and then wonder why their preacher resigns the pastorate, retires early, or worst yet, quits the ministry altogether!

I know of only one that was able to survive the beatings of the religious with the ability to minister to them without flaw unto His death; Jesus Christ! Even though He hung on an old rugged cross, thirsting for a drink, yet He gave Himself there on Calvary to become Living Water, even for those who nailed Him there!

And though we often expect our preachers to be much like Christ, we must remember that they are not Christ! If you want to get the most out of your pastorโ€™s ministry, and benefit most from his preaching, then do not with tongue or attitude lower him down into the mire of mockery and expect him to โ€œmake doโ€! Thank him for his ministry! Bless him with your support! Be loyal to him! Defend him! Pray for him! Give him some water!!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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