Pastoral ministry is rife with spiritual warfare, and pastors should pay special attention to the battles being fought around them. As pastors are often the pillar holding their church and congregation up, it makes sense that Satan would use various methods to test their resolve in themselves and their faith in God. What might those methods be?
Age and experience can be excellent tools of Satan against a minister. While a young upstart hasn’t had the same spiritual journey an experienced pastor has, they are equally susceptible to the sin of pride. As a pastor gains more influence and his flock grows, he becomes more of a target for the Enemy. The apostle Paul was so blessed by God that he realized he needed a thorn in his side to keep him humble and from falling into the trap of pride so commonly ensnaring pastors today. Faith leaders must guard their hearts and remain vigilant against letting the influence of experience go to their heads.
Setbacks experienced in the church can be attributed to attacks from Satan. Obstacles can stack up, leading pastors to face discouragement with their flock. Satan wishes pastors to doubt themselves and their message. These attacks can take many forms, and it can be difficult to discern what is an attack from Satan and what is simply misfortune. Younger pastors and leaders can be particularly susceptible to this pitfall.
The persecuting malice of Satan is one of the top ways he attacks ministers of the Gospel. We see Simon Peter’s fear when he is outside the High Priest’s house (Luke 22:54-62). Throughout Scripture, Satan uses fear of persecution, ridicule, and others to stamp out the faith disciples of Christ strive to maintain.
When Jesus foretold his death, Peter was quick to offer a rebuke. Jesus then famously said, “Get behind me, Satan.” Jesus recognized that Peter was being tempted to sway from His message. As Satan tempted Peter to take a more leisurely, less-offensive stance on the message of Christ, Satan tempts modern-day pastors in the same way. By preaching a more “progressive,” “friendly,” or “practical” approach to Christianity, pastors are allowing themselves and their congregation to stray from the real power and message of God.
Pastors and faith leaders need a robust understanding of spiritual warfare now more than ever before. NuWell Christian Counseling can assist pastors in fighting the spiritual battles that wage within themselves and their church by providing faith-based counseling to a pastor’s unique spiritual warfare situation.