“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)

Last week I had the opportunity to spend several days with thousands of pastors in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, at a conference called New Room. One thing that stood out to me was that a huge majority of them were hurting REALLY badly from the journey they have been on these past 18 months. Most their churches are down to 40% of the pre-Covid numbers, and yet they still maintain 90% of the giving. Get that? Forty percent give 90 percent! It was the uncommitted, lukewarm, not so generous people who have left the church. While the committed have pressed in through the challenges! A remnant to solid followers of Christ remain! Still, the weight of the load, of disappointments, of the weariness, of being in no-win situations, of losing “friends,” etc., have taken its toll on so many pastors.

In the midst of the tremendous weight that is currently on them, ask God to abundantly bless, extravagantly refresh, greatly encourage, divinely protect and supernaturally provide for your pastor, their marriage and their family. Ask God to meet each of these lead shepherds in Athens right where they are TODAY, and give them all that it takes to stay intimately connected to God and run strongly throughout this battle and season of transition. Plead with God for the authority of His word to increase in each pulpit and for each pastor to experience an increase in anointing in their preaching! And cry out for God to use our pastors as a powerful holy voice in our city and beyond, that they would not be silenced, fearful or hidden!