A pastor’s responsibilities extend far beyond the pulpit. Their role requires that they wear every hat, work every day, and be available every hour, while their tasks are ever-increasing. Pastors located in inner-city churches also get an extra helping of danger and despair added to their plates.
Seminole Heights Baptist Church, an inner-city church in Tampa, FL, was recently burglarized. The city only allows dispatch to one false alarm per year before charging for resources. Since SHBC experiences multiple false alarms yearly, lead pastor, Brant Adams, and deacon, Jack Young, responded to church security alarms at 1:00 a.m. on July 11th, 2019. The pair intercepted a burglar before he left with items of value and guarded him until police arrived.The intruder kicked in doors, smashed windows, and had two laptops on his person belonging to the church. “We’re an urban church, largely [comprised of] working families with kids on a fixed income, and seniors. These people work hard and are not wealthy. When you steal from them, you’re stealing the intentions of their money, stealing Mobile Clinic and Food Pantry resources, and stealing from the people who could receive help, hear the gospel or come to have faith in Christ,” stated Adams.
“It’s like Paul told us, [the burglar] was motivated by ‘evil and principalities of things unseen.’ Our enemy is not [the burglar], it’s the devil, demons and sin, which permeates hopelessness in our world,” Adams explained. “Our job is [to teach that there is hope] in Jesus Christ who died for you. You hope that there’s a God in heaven who loves you and will forgive you. Our church plant is surrounded by so much hopelessness… even more reason to protect what God’s given us to show hope and grace to people.”
Security is yet another role Pastor Adams and many other pastors must assume. They are pulled and stretched all day, every day. When they reach the point of exhaustion, some choose to leave the profession because of the significant burdens.
The Florida Baptist Convention encourages our pastors to reach out to your Regional Catalyst for support. You are not alone. We are here to serve right beside you and help ease your burdens as shepherds.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. The Florida Baptist Convention looks forward to praying over and celebrating our pastors and their dedication. Is your pastor on your prayer list? You are on his. We encourage people to pray for your personal pastor and all other pastors.