Why I Read Posts Addressed to Pastors

by Trillia Newbell

I like to peruse, as time allows, sites geared for pastors. The sites audience may not be primarily pastors, who knows, but the content can often be for them. Yesterday I read a post by Thabiti Anyabwile about pastors who fall from grace into sin, mostly sexual sin, and the often subtle ways it occurs. At that moment I was convinced that it is good for me to read these posts that aren’t explicitly addressed to me and I think perhaps you should too.

Here are my reasons:

  1. For study: As my friend likes to call herself, I too am a “Housewife Theologian.”  Blogs or specific posts geared towards pastors help guide me in study.  Justin Taylor’s site is a wonderful example of this. He posts numerous interviews, book synopsis, and articles specifically for study.
  2. For testing: My pastors are men made in God’s image but fallen nonetheless. I realize this and therefore I don’t want to simply listen to their sermons. Is that wrong? I don’t think so. I want to be able to interact with what they say from my seat and later throughout the week. One way to interact is by testing it. Does what they say, apart from the very Word of God, align with the Spirit? I don’t think I would be equipped to test if I’m not studying. (See 1Thess 5:21, 1John 4:1).
  3. For learning: You’d think learning and studying are the same things but I mean learning about my pastors. What are my pastors “going through” on a day-to-day basis? What are some of their worries and troubles? Understanding their burdens can help lead to my final reasons…
  4. To encourage: I want to help my pastors by encouraging them when and where possible. I try to do this regularly as I know that pastoral ministry can be discouraging. I am sure that they receive loads of criticism (and I have been a critic too) and therefore one simple benefit of reading these posts is to be informed of their potential burdens so I can encourage them specifically. I think encouragement can help guard them from the groaning addressed in Hebrews 13:17 as well.
  5. To pray: Perhaps the most important reason I read blogs and posts generally addressed to pastors is to equip my prayers.  I’m much more aware of the time, energy and prayer it takes to develop a sermon through these posts. They are most likely praying during their sermon prep but they may be graciously lamenting over their lack. Either way, I want to be praying for their sermons. But as Pastor Thabiti pointed out, perhaps the most important prayer would be for strength to endure and keep watch over their souls (1 Tim 4:16).

For these reasons I will continue to enjoy these blogs and posts. You don’t need me to list them, a list has already been made, but I do hope—as time allows with your busy schedule—you’ll join me in reading some listed. I think a few will be both edifying and useful as we serve God by serving our pastors and our local churches.

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