After the doors are locked, the pastor goes home, he walks through the door and colapses in his chair.
He stares blankly at the wall, his mind working, busy still, going over every encounter, every word, every face.
He remembers hardness when he preached against sin, knowing some are fighting a losing battle against temptation.
He remembers brokeness in some whose lives are filled with pain they've only told him. He hurts with them.
He feels joy at the liberty he had to preach the gospel, and a deep sense of thankfulness for everyone who responded to it. He thinks about them.
Where he senses disunity he is especially concerned, thinking through the dangers of gossip and the damage that it causes.
On his heart is each person in his flock. If he's been shepherding for long, he knows that some who smiled and shook his hand today could try to hurt him and his family another day. He prays to keep loving them when that happens.
Why am I going over this? I'm bringing a burden many church members have no idea about. Many do not have any idea about the battle that takes place after the lights are turned off and everyone is safely home. But a battle is taking place!
Satan has a plan for this man who slumps, exhausted in his easy chair. He wants him to quit. He wants him to give up the fight against temptation. He wants him embittered, hopeless, and dispirited. And most of all, he wants him to just quit, give up, walk away from the ministry forever.
To accomplish this, he prepares lies that, if believed, will tear the faith from your pastor's life, and with it, all his hope and fervor for Christ. Your pastor knows these lies are of the devil, but at this moment, he is spent. He has poured out his heart from the moment his knees hit the carpet of his prayer closet in the morning to the moment he said goodbye to the last saint as they went out the door. His heart is weary, and his mind is weary, and his spirit is weary. There are few times more vulnerable for a pastor than this moment. And at this moment, Satan starts to pour his lies out into his mind. Suddenly he feels like a failure, like his work is pointless, like it makes no difference. He is hit hard with temptation to worry about the people, the church, his family, and finances. I can't stress this enough. I've seen it, and I know. I've been in a pastor's family since I was five, and I have many family members working in the ministry. This happens to every pastor. Some feel more pressure than others, but the fact remains that Satan will hit God's servants when they are tired, every chance he can get.
Would you do something? Would you fight the battle with him, and take some time after church on Sunday night to pray for your pastor and his family? If you pray for him at any time of the week, and you desire to uphold him like Aaron and Hur held up the arms of Moses, uphold him in prayer on Sunday night after church!