We all struggle with our faith from time to time, whether it be due to a feeling of disbelief, or due to an unfortunate circumstance in our life that is stopping us from truly feeling that God is looking out for us. In these moments, it’s more important than ever to remain prayerful, read your Bible and look out for signs that God is trying to tell you something.
But there’s another resource which can serve as a shortcut. Your church’s pastor or priest isn’t just there to give sermons each week. They are to be a source of help and inspiration to all members of the church, by offering guidance and support through good times and bad.
Many of us feel intimidated by the idea of reaching out to our pastor for individual help and time. Remember, your pastor learned a long time ago that being a leader was their calling, and with that comes the responsibility to their parishioners.
So, as you can see, it’s very important to feel comfortable talking with either one when you are feeling lost, confused or simply uninspired.
How Should that Conversation Go?
To help you, we’ve come up with some questions to ask them. Before we begin, however, let’s just make one thing clear. If your pastor doesn’t make time for his or her church members, blows them off or makes them feel guilty for struggling with their faith, it may be time for a new church. A pastor should never make a person feel ashamed or unimportant.
#1: When is a Good Time for Us to Have a One-on-One Chat?
First, it’s good to ask your pastor ahead of time to reserve a spot during which you can speak intimately, one-on-one. Many mistakenly think that pastors only work for a few hours a week – during service and during bible study. But, pastors are busy people who must also manage the operations of the building, while meeting with other pastors regularly and managing the church as a whole. You may be tempted to stop them right after service, but this is when they are the most busy, as everyone tends to want some of their attention. So, try to schedule a time when they will be able to give you their undivided attention.
#2: What Made You Decide to Become a Pastor?
It’s always helpful to ask why your pastor decided to follow the path that they did. This can give you a lot of inspiration, because it gives you a unique perspective on one’s relationship with God. It also give you insight into the person whose messages you hear each week, and you may find that you relate to them more than you had previously thought.
#3: When Did You First Come to the Lord?
A pastor’s own unique journey through Christianity can be very helpful to you. For someone to choose to become a pastor, they have likely had some pretty amazing experiences throughout their lives that led them to this place. Knowing more about their life as a person of faith can help you understand yours better.
#4: What Do You Do When You Struggle with Your Faith?
Pastors may seem like superheroes at times, but the reality is that we all struggle with our faith from time to time. Even the apostles had moments of disbelief, after all. What your pastor does during moments of struggle in terms of their faith may be a source of inspiration for you.
#5: How Did You Discover Your True Calling?
If you’re struggling to discover your true calling, you should ask your pastor how they discovered theirs. They may be able to help you figure out what your calling is as well, based on your unique gifts and talents.
#6: Can We Pray Together?
It’s always a blessing when your pastor is willing to pray with you, so take advantage of this opportunity. You can also learn from the way in which they pray.
#7: What is a Good Resource for When I’m Struggling with My Faith?
Ask your pastor what resources are the most helpful when you’re struggling. It may be a certain part of the Bible, or a powerful piece of music, or a specific prayer.
#8: What are Your Favorite Bible Passages During Turbulent Times?
The Bible is something that most of us read daily, but let’s all confess that it’s a very dense book as well. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for us to forget some of the most important passages that can be useful to us in difficult times. Your pastor knows the Bible on a scholarly level, and may be able to bring up passages off the top of their head that apply to your specific situation.
#9: How Do I Know That God is Hearing My Prayers?
Many of us fear that God is not listening to us when we pray. And so, we are looking for some sort of sign that He hears us. Your pastor may have some unique insight into this commonly expressed insecurity and may give examples as to how his or her prayers have been answered in surprising ways throughout their lives.
#10: Why Has This Situation in My Life Not Yet Been Resolved?
If there’s one thing that even the most faithful Christians tend to wonder, it’s “why is ____ still happening to me?” We may have prayed and prayed and prayed, and yet no solution has occurred. Your pastor is someone who you can discuss these things openly with, even if they seem shameful, and are a source of embarrassment. Trust us when we say that pastors have heard it all, and are not as likely to judge you as you may think.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
It’s always good to speak with your pastor when you need a little help with your faith. They can help guide you along the way so that you can feel more connected to God. Therefore, don’t be afraid to reach out to them, as it’s their job, and their true calling in life.