Clergy Appreciation Month
I have been in ministry with The Asylum since about 2005; and there is nothing like it in the entire world! – the joy of watching a soul transform and blossom is worth every betrayal, false accusation, and hurt inflicted by my most trusted friends that I have had to endure. There is nothing that compares to the rush of seeing a life go from a dead seed to a living and blossoming tree in The Lord’s garden – Pray for all ministers who have been betrayed!
I am going to say, there is something special about the Jewish High Holidays overlapping with Clergy Appreciation Month. You see in Judaism, we believe that during these 10 days of Awe which begin on Rosh Hashanah are about cleansing one’s self of all that might be counted a blemish on our High Priest as He enters The Holy Place before The Lord in order to beg Him for the complete and total pardon of all transgressions in all peoples in all the world. As you spend this month praying and showing thanksgiving for your clergy of all varieties; consider this: “How does your life journey influence their blemishes as they come before The Lord on your behalf?”
I have battled with depression since I was a kid – on my worst mornings, before I open my eyes I beg The Lord,”give me one soul today, and this will be worth it” … I have not once prayed this prayer and not seen a soul touched by Him in that day! I am gonna say; often for those of us with a deep visceral pain; it is the understanding and familiarity that allows us to speak into another life more potently than others who have never known such; and in this, that which was given as a burden by evil is transformed by His hand in accordance with His plans and purposes toward the end of His glory and kingdom – Pray for all ministers who bear severe burdens!
The Asylum, while at times she waxes and wanes, grows every year. There are days I want, as a minister, to give up and walk away; but The Lord says, “wait” “not today”… It seems to me that the worst moments for perseverance for me are those moments in which I am right at the cusp of HUGE help that The Lord has prepared for me.. In Hebrew, Psalm 23 reads: “… I shall never be in want/need for all that I shall need has already been placed in the precise times and places in which I shall have need…” Isn’t this the truth? that He leads us THROUGH the valley and its shadow of death and has no intent or plan on leaving us there to rot?! – Pray for all ministries and ministers who are struggling with burnout and fatigue! Pray for ministers who are failing to see the provision they so desperately need!
it is true that there are often more bad days than good ones; “But God” don’t ever forget that “But God” because He does, and He will continue to! – even on the good days, He is oft’ my only encourager, “But God”! As The Lord Commanded Nehemiah, pay no heed to the discouragers and chase not the gossip where it leads; for The Lord is more than able and passionate toward the end of protecting you and lifting you up – Pray for ministers who are struggling with discouragement and perseverance! Pray for all those who gossip and all ministers who fall prey to their gossip.
Too oft’ a minister’s wife/husband and children have to pay the cost of the burdens a church piles onto a minister; they did not choose it, but it is taken from them as the only support a minister oft’ has… His/her burnout is directly related to their burnout; and without their spouse many ministers truly are alone. Few pastors have close friends of any kind; and those who are betrayed in any way almost never are able to heal enough to let them trust again, even a little. Israel as a whole was meant by Divine Decree to support FINANCIALLY the clergy; but most ministries today cannot even keep 1 minister on payroll, let alone a full team of them. One of the most god fearing ministers I have ever known was a Vineyard preacher who worked full time in construction because tithing from 70-80 families was barely enough to pay rent on the building they used for worship. We are not meant to be alone; but from the begining in His image we were alone, and He showed us that in Genesis 1 as the reason He needed to create woman. For what is Love if it is alone; and what is the image of love if it is alone? If ministry amounts to obedience to The Lord and love of His flock then how can we do this magnanimous task alone? – Pray for every minister out there of every form who is towing the line alone! Pray for ministers and their families; pray for their support systems and help in times of increased need!
I can only say that to see a soul transformed and blossom, it is worth every moment of depression, fatigue, loneliness, etc; and my family rejoices with me every time! … that sweetens the blessing so very much when you have someone to share that joy with; but many never experience that … Most ministers don’t even have a church board or denomination to lean on… if you are one of those; please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or others like me! it is when we come together that we keep each other strong and vibrant! – Pray for all those disenfranchised, all those on the fringes of what our world and culture considers “normal” or “acceptable, for all those who are rejected by the rampant plague on our world called “The Status Quo” … Pray for any who isn’t like you at all!
And as the Days of Awe conclude with Yom Kipper next week; may our transgressions against The Lord and each other be found unmentioned and uncounted as our High Priest and King, Emmanuel – Yeshua Moshiach, begs at the right hand of The Father at His throne in the Most Holy Place that ALL SIN be forgiven, pardoned, forgotten, and erased…
As The Asylum Ministries progress into this new chapter The Lord is Leading us (More to Come) please pray for our ministers and their families, our partners and sponsors and donors, and the road ahead…