By Ron Cook

Ron and his wife Rodetta have been married for 41 years. They have actively served the Lord together in ministry during the entire time and are co-founders of Care for Pastors. Ron ministers to hundreds of pastors annually through mentorship, counseling, and by phone. He has been a Pastor for 40 years and understands the stress of ministry, and wants to share his longevity in ministry with other pastors and help them finish well.

    A Warning? No, An Encouragement to Pastors

    Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    Notice the change in the title. Those of us in ministry get enough warnings. I don’t know of a single pastor who has ever been overdosed with encouragement. So what started as a warning, I want to change to an encouragement blog.

    Hebrews 3:12-13: See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

    Having been in ministry for 38 years, of which the past 5 ½ years have been focused on being a pastor to pastors, I have listened, counseled, encouraged and prayed with hundreds of pastors. Some of these pastors have allowed the pressures of “doing” ministry to cause them to make poor personal choices. Choices that in many cases promised some relief, but never fulfilled the promises, instead demanded more and more attention to the point their heart has become hardened to the things of God.

    Personal soul care has been discarded for cheap substitutes. This doesn’t sound very encouraging so far does it? The encouragement is in Hebrews 3:13, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

    Pastors and denominations have been suspicious and at war with each other long enough. It is time that we band together to confront the real enemy. It is time to focus on what we agree on, and stop wasting time focusing on what we disagree about. It is time we cross denominational lines with open arms to bind together for the Kingdom.

    Recent news has come to light of another mega-pastor who allowed what he believed to be his choices of liberty to control his life, affecting his marriage and influenced ministry decisions to the point that church leaders dismissed him. By all accounts, there seems to have been some accountability in place, but what was in place was rejected.

    Accountability is often looked at as control, but the truth is biblical accountability is the encouragement to not allow “little” sins to turn into “a sinful unbelieving heart” that turns away from the living God.

    My encouragement is, it doesn’t matter if you are a pastor or lay-person, surround yourself with godly accountability and make a point of encouraging others daily.

    Help us continue providing resources of care for pastors and their families.

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