Every senior pastor and his or her staff. Each one. Covered in prayer over the thirty-one days that make up October. During Pastor Appreciation Month 2013, Church of God Ministries joined forces with Christian Women Connection, Children of Promise, Warner Press, and Silent Blessings to specifically pray for the pastors of all 2,100-plus Church of God congregations in the United States and Canada. Additionally, this group of intercessors has prayed for our missionaries and chaplains by name.
At the start of each weekday throughout the year, Church of God Ministries gathers for a few minutes to pray. We pray for churches that are currently without a pastor. We pray for ministers who are battling cancer. We pray for camp meetings and conventions. And we pray for needs represented among the staff. But during the month of October, we have been blessed to breathe each pastor’s name to the Lord.
The five organizations that operate in the building that once housed The Gospel Trumpet Company have not simply uttered the pastors’ names and moved on. Together we have prayed for any and all associates, staff, and volunteers that assist them in their ministry. Together we’ve prayed for the families of our pastors. And together we’ve asked the Lord to help each pastor not lose the love, enthusiasm, and commitment that accompanied his or her call into ministry.
“We love and honor our ministers and are so thankful for all that they do,” Randy Montgomery explains. Montgomery co-directs, with Mark Richardson, the Leadership Development, Congregational Multiplication, and Health Ministry Group. He often leads the morning prayer circle at Church of God Ministries. Through the year, his team works diligently to resource, encourage, and equip pastors. But this massive prayer effort for Church of God ministers has truly been special. “It has been an honor and a privilege to pray for them by name this month,” he reflects.
At first, it seemed to some like an insurmountable task to pray specifically for each pastor while continuing to do the ministry required of each office. But when our affiliated and freestanding agencies agreed to partner with Church of God Ministries, we were able to achieve together what would have been very difficult apart. It has truly been a joy to unite in prayer for those who serve on the front lines of ministry.
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you have for all God’s people…”—Colossians 1:3–4 NIV