Father, I pray for the many younger men in ministry who are working to shepherd the people you have entrusted to them. In many cases they are in smaller churches and may be the only ones on staff. It can be a lonely and difficult calling.
Some young pastors have noticed that families who used to attend are missing. They’ve learned that these families have left for what they imagine are greener pastures – larger churches with bells and whistles that smaller churches cannot have. These families don’t realize that smaller churches feel the loss of younger families deeply. Their loss can be discouraging.
Others finished preaching this past Sunday only to be confronted by someone with a complaint. Whether the concern was valid or not, these young men felt ambushed at a time when they had just spent their energies preaching. This can take the wind out of their sails.
I want to also pray for those who are dealing with difficult situations in the lives of church families. Some are counseling people older than they are, trying to provide godly wisdom for parents with a rebellious teen. Others are doing their best to help couples whose marriages are in trouble. These young pastors often feel overwhelmed by the difficult counseling situations they face.
Some face significant decisions and wish they had someone to talk to – someone they could trust not to betray a confidence. Some need their elders to step up and share the load. Some are wondering if they are in the right place, if it’s time to think about moving on. A lot of them are thinking “They sure didn’t teach us this in seminary!” Some feel at the end of their rope.
Others in this group of your servants are trying to balance the needs of the church with the needs of their own young families. They need time to do their work well, but they don’t want to neglect their wive and children.
Some are being tempted to sacrifice substance for a style and approach that supposedly draws more people. They look at larger churches and wonder why their own church does not seem to be growing. Help them to stay faithful to your Word. Help them to be creative where creativity does not water down the message of the Gospel.
Then, Father, there are some who are being mistreated. For some it an unsupportive and even combative board. For others there has been betrayal, a withdrawal of support. Some are not being paid fairly and can’t make it on their salaries. Some face regular criticism but are told not to be so sensitive when they talk to others in leadership. They feel hopeless and disillusioned.
For all of these, and others, I pray that you would extend great grace, peace, and wisdom. They are young, vulnerable, and may be questioning their calling. Please encourage them and bring people into their lives who will stand with them and pray for them.
In Jesus name, Amen.