In a speech in 1941 at Harrow School for Boys, Britain’s Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, exhorted the students, “Never give in—never, never, never!”
Such was the resolve of the great World War II leader. But across the world today there are thousands of battle-weary pastors—frontline shepherds—who are ready to throw in the towel. Assaults of the devil, sniping from critics, discouragement, and physical, emotional and spiritual depletion are the constant “thorns in the flesh” many pastors endure. These pressures plus the relentless economic challenges in developing nations have brought many of God’s servants to the end of their rope.
In Global Advance’s Frontline Shepherds Conferences over the last few years we’ve noted that between 10 and 20 percent of the pastors attending our training events arrive in a “crisis of calling.” Many have said in so many words, “If God doesn’t meet me at this Global Advance event, I’m leaving the ministry.”
In our recent outreaches in Africa over 100 pastors indicated they were going back to their churches with fresh fire and fresh resolve to stay in ministry and be more fruitful than ever—even though they had come to the conference planning to quit! Not only did they receive a vision in their hearts and tools in their hands--God met them and renewed their commitment to their call. Think of the exponential, positive impact of just one pastor’s ministry that is rescued!
In early America “Aaron and Hur Societies” sprung up across New England. These prayer bands resolved to pray fervently for pastors, lifting up their hands through prayer, just as Aaron and Hur strengthened Moses, causing God’s people to prevail (Ex. 17:10-13). It is no coincidence that soon after this concentrated prayer for pastors, God brought the Great Awakening.
Let’s form new Aaron and Hur Societies! Join with others to pray for your pastor. And through your prayers, lift up the weary hands of God’s servant-leaders on the frontlines of the Gospel’s advance around the world. Your prayers will make all the difference. God’s people and His purposes will prevail.
David Shibley is the founder and international representative of Global Advance, a ministry that equips tens of thousands of church and business leaders every year in many of the world’s neediest areas.
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