What Should Church Members Be Doing?


What Should Church Members Be Doing? 

For those of you who possibly haven't heard, Pastor Scott had a bit of a scare last week.  With severe chest pains, he went to the ER on Tuesday night. After hours of waiting, they performed a stress test there which indicated the need for him to see a cardiologist and probably have a heart catheterization done. Luckily, he was able to see the doctor the next day and will have the cath done this Friday.

I first received word of this by way of a text early Wednesday morning that read, "I'm not going to be there (at church) today. I'm in the hospital." On a few occasions, Pastor Scott has texted me to say he will be late because he is going to visit someone in the hospital, but never that it is he who is the patient.

Before I started anything in the office, I made my way to the sanctuary just to pray.  Besides being the quietest place in the building, I like to go there to praise the Lord and to pray for Coggins Church. As I lifted Pastor Scott to the Lord, I looked up at the stained glass window of Christ kneeling in prayer. I've admired that window many times over my years at Coggins, and have been captivated at His gaze toward heaven as He cries out to His Father. But have you ever noticed that Christ isn't the only person in that window? I had not. In the background are the small distant figures of Peter, James, and John who are sleeping. It was as if God drew my eyes to them; He wanted me to be sure to notice what was taking place. While Jesus was heartbroken over what was going to happen to Him, while He cried to His Father that "if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me," His disciples slept. You will remember that Jesus came back to these disciples and asked,  "Are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?" And He followed His question with a warning: "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Mark 14:37-38) As I prayed for our pastor, God reminded me that it is our responsibility to stay awake, stay alert, stand strong, and keep watch.  Not that I am comparing Pastor Scott to Jesus Christ, nor myself or any of you to the likes of Peter, James, and John, but God clearly presented the image to me of faithful followers who should be in prayer for the shepherd that He has called to lead this flock.  Not only at this time with the health concerns, but it is our responsibility as members of this church to lift him up in prayer and to support him. Are we sleeping?  

Thom Rainer, in his book, I Am a Church Member, addresses what congregations should really be focusing on — praying for church leaders, being a functioning member, treasuring church membership, and more. Rainer gives an account of one particular day in a pastor's life. He follows with "His day is filled with mountaintops and valleys. He is adulated by some and castigated by others. He needs your prayers." *We must lift his wife and family to the Lord, too, as they live and serve together. Rainer also acknowledges that "God, in ways we don't always understand fully, works through the prayers of believers." *We pray, God hears; He answers.  

At the throne of grace,


Jan 11'18  

*(Thom S. Rainer, I Am A Church Member, Nashville, B&H Publishing Group 2013, pgs. 46 & 49)

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