My hands are so heavy! I don’t know if I can continue to do this!”
“Moses needs our help,” said Aaron and Hur. “But how do we help him? Look—let’s place these stones underneath his arms and then we can support his hands.”
As the story goes Moses’ hands were steady until the going down of the sun, and Joshua and the Israelite warriors were victorious over the Amalekites. In Moses’ time of need, in his weariness from doing the Lord’s work, Aaron and Hur were there to give literal support; as a result the entire nation of Israel prospered.
We are many years removed from the story of Moses, but the same need for support of church leadership and pastors still rings true. Today our leaders need to have their hands upheld as they guide God’s remnant church through these troublous last days of earth’s history and on to triumphant victory in God’s kingdom.
I have personally experienced the precious blessing of receiving pastoral support. Sometimes, trying to juggle all the day-to-day demands of ministry—administrating, counseling, preaching, teaching, evangelizing—becomes overwhelming and my hands become very heavy. But when the load is weighty, my leaders and church members at Berean step in to help lift it.
There are so many ways that my members lend support and encouragement; however I will mention just one example. Recently, I was preparing to preach for our church’s Revelation seminar. On this particular evening, I was going to speak on the change of the Sabbath. I had personally prayed and prepared the message, but I felt like this night I needed something extra. I stepped outside the church where two of my elders were greeting people and making sure things were secure. I said to them, “I need you all to pray for me tonight.”
Now I was expecting them to pray for me during the meeting, but they said “Pastor, we are going to pray for you right now.” There we stood, my elders and I in the front of the church, crying out to God on my behalf for the Word to go forth with power from my lips.
That night the Lord filled me with the power of His Holy Spirit and allowed me to preach with clarity, confidence and conviction. I attribute that great move of God that evening to the powerful prayers of my elders.
Not only must we as pastors graciously receive support from church leadership and members, but we ourselves must be willing to extend encouragement to our colleagues in ministry. I have been blessed by the opportunity to support my fellow pastors through listening to their personal and pastoral struggles, being able to give counsel and, most importantly, praying for them.
Sometimes the lending of support comes in unexpected ways. Earlier this year, the Agape Church near St. Louis was without their church home because of damage that had occurred in their building. Pastor Montgomery called me, shared the circumstances and asked if his congregation could come and worship with us. Without hesitation, we opened our doors to our sister church and for the next five months we worshiped, fellowshipped, prayed and fasted, and even conducted an evangelistic meeting together. These two churches and their pastors will be bound forever because of our collective experience.
Today some pastor or church leader is crying out, “My hands are heavy and I don’t know if I can continue to do this!” Will you be the one to say, “You need help—let me support your hands”?
This editorial originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of OUTLOOK. It was written by Joseph Ikner, who pastors the Berean Church in St. Louis and serves as Prayer Ministries director for the Central States Conference.