James Stewart was a pastor’s friend. James is the kind of man that every pastor needs one or two, or five of, if he is going to survive. Our memories of James are many. He lived across the street from us in our first pastorate. We cut grass together, ate many meals together, went to football games together, and sometimes investigated strange noises in the middle of the night.
Though he worked long hours as a department manager in a local grocery store and cared for his numerous brothers and sisters, James was faithful. Sometimes I have said that if it wasn’t for James Stewart, I might not have continued in ministry. James encouraged us and believed in us when things could not have been worse at that first church.
Pastors need to be encouraged. The Bible records the relationship between Jonathan and David. There is a particular verse that gives great example to the kind of encouragement pastors need.
And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. (1 Samuel 23:16 NIV) Do you see that phrase?
Church, your pastor doesn’t need you to just be nice or say nice things (although, that doesn’t hurt). He needs you to help him find his strength in God.