Power of companionship in Christian ministry - Recently, I came across a survey published by Stand Strong Ministries which says 70% of the pastors are currently battling loneliness and 40% of them have considered quitting. Another study says, over half of pastors who start out in ministry will not last past five years.
Before writing further, I would like to remind all my beloved blog readers that Pastors are human, but the underlining expectations presume that they are superhuman. Yes, they carry the Holy Spirit (like every other follower of Christ), but they also have the same emotions and the same limitations like any normal human being. This is a serious issue and each of us need to play our role to make things better.
Let’s talk a bit about the issue of loneliness which are faced by a majority of the ministers. One among the major reasons for this could attribute largely to hitting a state of burn out while being in a state of not having someone to talk or share their burdens (spiritual and humanly stress).
They are constantly on the frontline praying for people whom God has appointed them to shepherd over. Alongside the spiritual battle, they also hit physical and emotional exhaustion due to sheer amount of work, responsibilities, leadership, family, finances and many more. They are expected to be available 24/7 and carry an ongoing heaviness that the work is never done.
Now let’s try to analyze the life of the ministers who served early churches during the first century. While reading up a bit on this from the Bible, the following scripture caught my attention. “After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest. Luke 10:1-2”
You see something very unique about how Jesus commissioned His chosen 70 men. He sent them out in pairs. Oh yes, He did! Jesus instituted the significance of companionship and support which is much needed to keep going as the mission gets tougher. Indeed, He used the power of influence, encouragement, and mutual learning to train his disciples.
If you continue to read the Bible further, you’ll notice that it didn’t just end with the commissioning of the 70. As we continue into the Book of Acts, we see similar pattern repeating. Barnabas was divinely appointed to be an exclusive companion for Paul. Same goes with John being assigned to accompany Peter in his ministerial journey. These strong Biblical evidences reinforces the immense power of companionship and its importance in ministry.
At this point, I want to encourage all my beloved readers to partner with your pastors and have their backs while they obey the orders from God and faithfully offer their life to the service. They constantly face spiritual battles at the forefront and yet not give up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
If you happen to be a part of a team serving any office in your church or at missions, I wanna encourage you strongly to have each other’s back and incubate a culture of edifying each other and support the vision which God has put in every individual’s heart. When the going gets tough, your companionship could work wonders in terms of rejuvenating and reviving each other to keep going for the remaining part of their journey.
About the author: Reji Mathews, along with his wife Frenchi, serves God as lead worshipper at Church Underground, Toronto. He is a software engineer by profession but his heart yearns to see a global revival and a great awakening in christian churches. He plays a pivotal role in challenging and impacting churches to seek God’s heart in everything and most importantly, stay strongly founded on the apostolic doctrines established by the early first century church leaders. On the side, he loves writing biblical blogs to encourage body of Christ.