Today we're going to talk about 8 simple ways we can be an encouragement to the shepherd of our flock— our pastor.
Pastors can be the loneliest people in the church. Often their hours are long, the pay minimal, the criticism considerable and constant. Feelings of disappointment, discouragement, and defeat may plague the best of them.
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Galatians 5:13
Paul's admonition in Galatians 5:13, "by love serve one another" should encourage us to remember our shepherds.
Fred Rogers, of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, shared the following experience in an address he gave. While he was a seminary student, he chose to attended a different church each Sunday to hear a variety of preachers. One Sunday he was treated to "the most poorly crafted sermon [he] had ever heard." But when he turned to the friend who had accompanied him, he found her in tears. "It was exactly what I needed to hear." she told Rogers. "That's when I realized," he told his audience, "that the space between someone doing the best he can and someone in need is holy ground. The Holy Spirit had transformed that feeble sermon for her—and as it turned out, for me too."
"...the space between someone doing the best he can
One pastor's heart filled with joy when a group of women responded to a sermon preached from the words of Jesus.
"Judge not, that ye be not judged." Matthew 7:1
After hearing a sermon, the women decided to give a baby shower for a young woman who provided childcare while they met for Bible study. She was unmarried, close to going on welfare, and without support from her family or the the baby's father. The young woman was moved to tears by the surprise baby shower.
Don't expect that your present pastor will do things the same way their predecessors did. Lay aside personal agendas and preferences. Instead, focus on how your pastor is being used by God to do effective ministry.
So how can we encourage our pastor?