By Talulah Ruger
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13, ESV
When asked the question, “Do you love your pastor?” I believe most church members and regular attendees would respond with a resounding, “Yes!” This love and appreciation may be demonstrated in numerous ways individually and collectively, including yearly pastor’s appreciation or anniversary recognition. But are we loving our pastor with the kind of love that Paul explains to the Corinthian church?
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7, ESV
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 closed the doors of church buildings in the U.S. and worldwide. Millions of people were in lockdown in their homes, and churches had to react swiftly to continue services, provide care, and attempt to keep their congregations connected. Individual households became house churches that joined worship services and groups online using various social media platforms. We also contended with the presidential election, racial tension, and a divided country. While moving to social media opened a way to reach more people for Christ, we quickly learned that these same platforms were used by those who desired to promote disunity and discouragement.
Pastors were behind the scenes trying to stay healthy, caring for their families, preparing sermons, and guiding staff and other church leaders to navigate this “new” normal. The day-to-day pressures of carrying this tremendous burden could be seen in the faces and heard in the voices of many pastors as they prayed and poured out weekly messages, communicating that God is still in control and that our hope is in Jesus Christ.
The year 2020 was challenging. This year has been too. But we can make these years the ones where we recognized our pastors need our daily support and love, not just in words but through our actions. Meditate on Paul’s words about love as we consider caring for our pastors in 2021 and beyond.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:7, ESV
Talulah Ruger, RN, MSN (MACE, 2006) serves on the leadership team for the DTS-Houston Alumni Association. A retired oncology nurse, she is a Bible teacher, motivational speaker, and writer. Talulah is the CEO and founder of Talulah Ruger Ministries focused on ministry to and for people 50+ and Women’s Spiritual Mentoring. She is an instructor for the Opened Bible Academy.