Who needs encouragement? You? Of course. Everyone needs encouragement, from the youngest to the oldest, and the richest to the poorest. How about your pastor?
A good pastor leads, serves, studies, listens to problems, sacrifices sleep and often family, plus much more. Not only taken for granted, pastors are held to extremely high standards, overworked, underpaid, and live in glass houses, under the watchful eye of church and community. In fact, every Monday pastors all across America want to turn in their resignation.
Let’s look at some easy ways to encourage your pastor:
1. Let him know you’re praying for him, and pray.
Prayer provides strength and support that is felt in your absence. As the old saying goes, “If you don’t like your pastor, pray hard, and you’ll see him/her differently.” Of course, that’s because God changes the heart of the one praying.
2. Tell your pastor you enjoyed the sermon personally, instead of to your friends.
It’s easy for members to share with others how much the sermon meant or benefited them, believing the pastor or minister doesn’t need to hear this. Compliments shouldn’t be given nonchalantly but shared genuinely.
3. Keep criticisms and complaints to yourself. Sounds harsh, but the Bible speaks endlessly of encouraging one another, not hurting and ripping each other to pieces, and that would include pastoral staff. In our church, we tell everyone our rule is no complaints allowed, unless willing to do the job yourself. Solutions and suggestions are always welcome when done correctly.
4. Catch the vision your pastor has and get behind him in word and action.
Without vision, men will perish. God places a minister/pastor over a church and gives them the vision for the congregation.
5. Invite his/her family over for dinner, or treat them to a restaurant with a gift card.
Pastor’s still like to eat, and love special treats. Yep, preachers still like fried chicken. Yummmm.
6. Send a thoughtful card, candy, cookies, or even pie to show gratitude.
“It’s the thought that counts” is how the ‘ole saying goes. Nothing touches your heart quite the same as knowing someone has paid close attention to know your favorites, like our congregation does.
7. Treat pastor’s wives to massages.
Oh, did I say that? If the pastor is a woman, get her husband a fishing pole or a membership to a golf course. You get the idea. A minister’s spouse plays an often overlooked, but important, supportive role. the minister relies heavily on their spouse. You can guarantee, if the pastor sacrifices, the spouse and children sacrifice as well.
8. Committed leaders need to do exactly that – keep commitments.
Be dependable. When teachers, custodians, or musicians don’t show up without prior notice, it places an extra burden on the pastor. Leaders are supposed to be held to a higher standard of conduct and responsibility. Make sure you’re ready.
9. Mini-retreats and vacations are always welcome, and appreciated.
Depending on the age of your pastor and his/her children, might make a difference as to what kind is more appealing. Either way, all should enjoy some sort of get-a-way at a motel or resort with a pool or other ways to relax.
10. Replace a scowl with smiles, and guard your heart, instead of your seat.
In order for a church to grow, visitors must view friendliness over dominance, rudeness, possessiveness, and aloofness. Reaching out to visitors makes a pastor proud, and smiling during the service sends the message you’re engaged. Much better than snoring.
In a nutshell, pastors rarely are as confident as perceived. Committed to serve, affirmation in word and deed might not be necessary, but is a true blessing. Show support by not going against them or creating division in the church or some unnecessary problem for him/her to solve. They work harder than your mind can imagine. Encouragement is always appreciated.
Let every Sunday be pastor appreciation Sunday.
…No need to only appreciate pastors during October.
…no need to wait for the church board to do something official either.
…put your pastor in shock by becoming faithful, or inviting friends to church.
QUESTION. What other ideas would you like to add? I love hearing from you.
Thanks again for taking time to read my blog, and for sharing it with your friends. Blessings to all of you!