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  • David Popham

Praise Song for the Average Minister

(modeled after “Praise Song for the Pandemic,” by Christine Valters Paintner)

David K. Popham

Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail. (James 5:10-11, The Message)


Celebrate Ministers attending to living communities of faith where flesh and blood intermingle with spirit and the divine.

Celebrate Ministers offering care to congregations thriving and congregations deteriorating, for showing up either way.

Celebrate Ministers tilling the hearts and minds of laity, planting seeds so ideas can grow, an act of hope if ever there was.


Give thanks for Ministers keeping an eye on the wellbeing of others.

Give thanks for Ministers undertaking difficult conversations for the common good, offering faithful words that deliver troubled ones to havens of rest.

Give thanks for Ministers who understand this thing called church ministry and find courage in times of anxiety and frustration.


Blessed be Ministers in keeping their congregations informed of reality, both material and spiritual, leading in the ways of blessing and light.

Blessed be Ministers taking on the role of chaplain and social worker and therapist of every kind, even when they feel uncertain within themselves.

Blessed be Ministers as they undertake acts of justice so that those who are targets of hate may know they are loved and cherished, even when these acts are cause of conflict within the congregation.


Peace to Ministers taking on the role of artist, poet, singer, and storyteller, bringing creative presence to their church.

Peace to the Minister whose congregation is tenuous, who feels fear of the unknown gnawing.

Peace to Ministers who structuring and restructuring have yet to yield the hoped for results.


Rejoice in Ministers relating to Committees on Ministry working to keep standards, so congregations are safe.

Rejoice in Ministers when they create moments of stillness and silence so new voices can be heard, with some voices being heard for the first time.

Rejoice in laughter and gentleness shared. Also rejoice in knowing looks and silent communications bolstering weary souls.


Praise be Ministers who take time for self-care in nature, in a book, in music, time away shared with loved ones to fortify the time shared with beloved churches.

Praise be the rest that comes after a long week. May Ministers take comfort in knowing that what is done is done, and what is left undone can wait.

Praise be those who held the position before us, for the accomplishments they achieved and the difficulties they endured, their resilience is a blessing upon us.

Praise be the Spirt which anointed them and now anoints us, each a baptism.


And when our ministry is done, may it be said that love was shared, and that our departing is not an ending but a point of genesis.


Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail. (James 5:10-11, The Message)

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