I began my pastoral ministry as a year two student on campus. I was privileged to pastor and mentor several young people at the time. I had my academics and other stuff to deal with while maintaining fervency in the spirit and soundness in ministry. Among those whom I led was a young, godly lady in our excos that would often check up on me. She would say she’s not coming for counselling or prayers like others did. She just wanted to know if I’m fine.

She would ask questions like; “Pastor, how are you? How is your health? Hope you’re resting well and feeding properly. How’s your prayer life? How’s your CGPA? What about family? Are you hearing from home?” I must confess that those moments with her were some of my finest moments as a spiritual leader. I was greatly encouraged to know that someone genuinely cared for me. I realised that pastors also go through stuff.

Friend, pastors also go through stuff. Like one man of God rightly put it; many pastors are bleeding while blessing other people (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). Some minister despite their wounds. They give even when they are in dire need. They still have to encourage others despite the fact that they also need encouragement (1 Samuel 30:6). They go all the way to ensure that the flock is fine while they have their own struggles.

A lot of time, people go to pastors for what they need, not for their love for the pastor. Very few people love their pastors (2 Corinthians 4:16-17). They only need their pastors. They only care about their needs being met without taking thoughts as to the pastor’s need. Pastors should not confuse being needed with being loved. People can come to you for what you have, not for who you are (John 21:15-17).

People often relate with men of God as they do an orange. Once they squeeze out the juice of grace and wisdom in a pastor, they discard him and look for another juicy pastor (John 6:26-27). They only want you as long as there is something they are benefiting from you. This is typical of humans. Human beings are generally selfish, except the ones that submit to the Holy Spirit.

Like that dear young lady in our opening story, very few people come to a pastor to know how he’s doing. They come for counselling and prayers without finding out how the pastor is fairing. Whereas, ministry demands that we go all out for people. The people to whom we minister must not be blinded to the humanity we share (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

If you are a member of a local church or you receive ministry from a man of God somewhere, do beyond just getting stuff from your pastor; genuinely care for him (Philippians 4:10). It is not always about money. It is about the heart. When last did you call your pastor to just check up on him? When last did you think of doing something to relieve the weight of ministry on your pastor (Exodus 17:9-13)? God will always raise people like Stephanas to fill the vacuum of an uncaring church (1 Corinthians 16:15-18). You can choose to be the one. Pastors also go through stuff. Never forget this!

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria