Jump directly to the Content

The Most Important Thing You Do

Why the pastoral prayer releases God's power in ways even preaching does not.

Most pastors work hard. We try to be competent at many things. We go to hospitals to care for those whose bodies, and perhaps spirits, are broken.

We counsel church members who wonder what strange thing God is doing in their lives. We spend hours in meetings, trying our best to guide the church, supervise staff, balance budgets, and raise money.

Then there is the sermon. Our church has a pulpit that's two stories tall. Guess what's considered important in our tradition? It's an overwhelming responsibility to climb those steps Sunday after Sunday and utter, "Hear the Word of the Lord." I work on the sermon every morning, and I still go to bed every Saturday night fretting that I have not worked hard enough.

Facing my twentieth anniversary in the pastorate, I have about decided that none of this is the most important thing I do. Not even the preaching. These days, I'm thinking that the most important thing I do for my congregation is to pray. Specifically, leading ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Learning to Love Our Neighbor’s Fears
Learning to Love Our Neighbor’s Fears
We aren’t all equally afraid of the same things. But Scripture’s wisdom can apply to all of us.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.