Many pastors are feeling internal or external pressure to set those special measures aside, to once again start up all the programs and ministries, and to return to normalcy as quickly as possible. This is greatly complicated by the fact that in many congregations half the church considers this a public health emergency in which the enemy is a dangerous virus while the other half considers it a spiritual health emergency in which the enemy is an overreaching government—two very different kinds.
You might be tired of hearing it, but that doesn’t make it any less true—these have been difficult days for pastors. And I think you need to hear as well that there are more difficult days ahead. That being the case, for the sake of your pastor and the sake of your church, he needs you to be praying for him right now and in the weeks and months to come.
Pastors, like everyone else, had their lives and routines disrupted by the lockdowns and they, like everyone else, had to make some significant adjustments. Even the biggest opponents of recorded or streamed services quickly found themselves preaching sermons into the cold and unblinking eye of a camera. Even the biggest Luddites found themselves spending countless hours on Zoom whether for counselling sessions or prayer meetings or elder visits. Even the most extroverted and most committed to pastoral visitation found themselves physically separated and relationally distanced from the people God had charged them to care for.
Then, as restrictions have eased, it has fallen to pastors to take the lead in determining whether to meet, where to meet, and how to meet. It has been up to pastors to understand and implement the overlapping and often contradictory public health measures. It has been pastors who have risked having their names and faces in the papers if their churches become the site of an outbreak. It has been pastors who have felt the pressure from some members to move so much slower and from other members to move so much faster, from some to accept every health recommendation and from others to reject them all.