|Anderson Gardens, Rockford, Illinois|
If a pastor or Christian leader is from a non-Western, Third World context, the odds are they do have a significant prayer life. The general rule is this: the more stuff a person has, the less they pray; the less stuff a person has, the more they pray. There are exceptions, but not many. As Jesus said, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
In the absence of a deep life of prayer-connectedness to God, what does Christian ministry look like? Henri Nouwen writes:
"Most Christian leaders are used to thinking in terms of large-scale organization: getting people together in congregations, schools, and hospitals, and running the show as a circus director. They have become unfamiliar with, and even somewhat afraid of, the deep and significant movements of the Spirit within. I am afraid that in a few decades the Church will be accused of having failed at its most basic task: to offer people creative ways to communicate with the divine source of human life." (Nouwen, Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit, Kindle Locations 207-210)
The #1 thing a pastor-shepherd must do is plant themselves by the living waters and green pastures of God's earth-shattering presence, and then lead their people there.
Teach them, as Jesus instructed, to abide in Him. (John 14-16)
Then their lives will bear much fruit.