Found this article by Kevin DeYoung and thought it very important. Being a pastor, I couldn’t help but agree, and I know that all of the pastors at ccphilly would gladly accept more prayer in this regard!
Your pastors and elders need your help to live out the calling of Acts 6:4: “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
Because everything seems more important and seems more urgent than being in the word and prayer. Everything.
What happens if all the lights are burnt out and the heat doesn’t work and the pews are upside down and the sound is off? People will notice. People will say something. People will be upset.
But what if your elders didn’t pray more than five minutes at their meeting last month? Would you know? No on would, not right away. What if your pastor hasn’t prayed for weeks? What if the elders are not deep into the word? With almost everything else in the church someone will says, “What’s going on? Why didn’t you show up? What’s the problem? Why didn’t this get done?” But who knows when the pastors and the elders forget Acts 6:4?
Most pastors won’t tell you this, but they can preach a passable sermon with almost no preparation. We know how to string sentences together. We know more about the Bible than almost everyone in the church. We can cheat our prep time and no one will know. Not right away.
But over time, church members will think to themselves, “Something’s missing. There’ some power not here that used to be here. There’s some gospel connecting no longer at play. I can’t put my finger on it, but pastor doesn’t preach like he used to.” It happens slowly but surely. Maybe the emails seem more pressing this week, or maybe it’s a meeting, or this administrative thing. It’s not one massive thing, but a mountain of molehills. And then one day, Acts 6:4 is gone. The elders don’t pray. The pastors don’t study.
We must all fight for the ministry of the word and prayer. Elders and pastors must fight to keep it and congregations must fight to support it, to encourage it, to give time for it. Because most pastors and most parishoners don’t notice Acts 6:4 is missing until it’s too late.