I saw this on Facebook the other day and it disturbed me greatly.

This picture does remind us to pray for our pastors.  And that’s good.  But this picture reminds us why many churches never fulfill what God has called them to do and be.  A church that is being carried by its pastor is not a biblical church.  Let’s look at this from a few angles.

First, the church is designed to be a community of people, led by Jesus Himself and empowered by His Spirit.

Second, the church (the community) has a mission.  This mission is to display and declare the good news of God’s kingdom to a world run amuck.

Third, a pastor’s job, along with other leaders, is to guide and equip the church into stepping into the very thing they were created to be.

With these things in mind, look at this picture again and mourn what the church is missing.

This church is missing a real sense of community.  It is a group of people relying on one person to hold it together and move it forward.  Community is built as each part lives in active, sacrificial love.

This church is missing its mission.  It clearly exists to hang out together, supported by the limited strength and gifts of the leader.  Any hope of mission is dependent on the members carrying the call of Christ in their hearts.

This church is missing Jesus.  It has lost its heart to discern the leadership of Jesus himself.  It has traded in divine power, for measured human results.  There is no sense of Jesus speaking direction, correction, or healing.

This church is missing a joyful pastor.  It has laid on him expectations that even Jesus has not promised to fulfill.  And he will grow more weary, becoming open to all kinds of human maladies and temptations to hide from the pain of never being able to win.

So, if this is the church you go to, for sure, pray for the pastor.  But pray for him to be delivered, not for him to bear up.  More importantly, pray for the church!  Pray for the church to be what was designed to be, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).”  No one person can do this no matter how much we pray for him.