You are struggling with financial issues and are battling fear and worry — does your pastor know you?
You are feeling overwhelmed with your obligations as a parent — does your pastor know you?
You feel the weight of anxiety and depression — does your pastor know you?
Your teenagers have questions about their faith — does your pastor know you?
Tensions in your marriage are rising — does your pastor know you?
You are burdened about the political and social unrest in your country — does your pastor know you?
You often question how can God be good when there is so much evil — does your pastor know you?
You read your Bible, but it seems so confusing at times — does your pastor know you?
You just found out your 11-year-old is looking at pornography — does your pastor know you?
You want to more about your Bible and your faith — does your pastor know you?
You realize that you are always angry, especially at your family — does your pastor know you?
You find it difficult to make new friendships — does your pastor know you?
You are increasingly afraid of death — does your pastor know you?
You need someone to pray with you and for you — does your pastor know you?
Please don’t misunderstand! It is not your pastor’s job to solve every one of the above problems. However, it is important for him to know at least some of what your joys and struggles are. He should know whom to connect you with to encourage you. No pastor can be everything to everyone. But at the very least, your pastor should know you. This is not an indictment of large churches or an endorsement of small churches. It is a statement of fact that those who would be the shepherds of your soul should know about you on a personal level. The Apostle Paul was intimately involved with the Ephesian church. Listen to how he described his relationship with them:
“You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.”
There are many messages that can be preached to large numbers of Christians that are appropriate and good without direct personal knowledge of the hearers. Large conferences can be extremely beneficial. But these conferences are no substitute for the intimate relationship that the Bible envisions between congregations and their shepherds. The writer of Hebrews urges you to honor your elders and follow their directions because they are accountable for you:
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, since they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
The direction that pastors and elders are to give includes the specific matters that have to do with your individual walk with God. They are accountable for your soul! But in order to do this, in order for you to be cared for as the Holy Spirit directs, your pastor must know you!
So again, I ask in love and concern for you and the spiritual well-being of your family:
Does your pastor know you?