Pastors are a unique breed of person. They live to serve others and give of themselves with a 24 hour a day, seven day a week mentality. Pastors provide pastoral care for those who are ill, for those who grieve, for those in financial crisis, and a host of other places of strife with which congregants struggle. It is a dangerous profession; not that a pastor risks life and limb to rescue someone on the side of a cliff, (although, I think that is in the job description) but that clergy often have to deal with stressors of time management, self-care, family time, and effectiveness in ministry. What happens when the pastor is ill and can't be there for the church?
I want to ask a personal favor from my friends and daily readers. My friend and colleague, Harold 'Butch' Snyder is in York hospital (been there for a month now). It is believed Butch suffered an infection, heart complications, and perhaps a couple strokes. He is unable to clearly communicate with his family and hospital staff and this is a growing frustration. Frowns, smiles, and looks of anger are the only means of expression Butch can muster.
He has been a pastor for 9 years and has brought vitality to his church. His energy and powerful voice grab your attention. When he prays, it's as if the heavens are rolling open and God's hand is reaching down to us.
His love of God and rich giftedness for ministry are a few of the things of which I admire in Butch. His attention to detail and leadership have helped the church in Windsor grow in spiritual health and ministry focus. His family: a wife, sons, grandchildren, and friends are praying and waiting for Butch to become restored to health.
"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of
you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of
the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he
has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that
you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:13-16, NIV)
Stop what you are doing and offer a prayer to the Lord on behalf of Butch, Brenda, the boys, and grandchildren. Pray for the medical staff at York hospital to bring healing to Butch and that God's provision will be sufficient in that process. Pray for Windsor church and the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen that church until their pastor, leader, and friend can once again stand in the pulpit and boom that voice with the Gospel of Christ. Thanks.