8 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor
Here are 8 simple ways we can be an encouragement to them:
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
Ask God to fill your pastor with an abundance of love, hope, joy, faith, peace, power, wisdom, and courage. Pray for your pastor's maturity and growth in the faith. As you pray, keep in mind this wisdom from German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
"If you treat a person as he is, he will stay as he is; but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be, he will become what he ought to be and could be." — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A spoken compliment is always welcome, but a written one can be read over and over again for years. So, when you hear or see something you like from your pastor, write a note of appreciation.
"If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain." James 1:26
Hardly nothing encourages a pastor more than seeing people respond to preaching. Imagine the delight of a pastor who, when greeting a visitor to his church, found she came because of the kindness of a church member who was her neighbor.
"I am recently divorced, a single parent and new to this community," she told the pastor. "To keep up with rent and provide for my three children, I must work two jobs. That leaves me very little time for yard work. I was relieved when the weeds didn't overrun my yard as I had feared they might. However, when I made an unscheduled trip home in the middle of my workday, I discovered the reason the weeds had not taken over my yard. My 86-year-old neighbor—a member of your church—was on his hands and knees pulling my weeds. I barely knew this man and he was embarrassed to be caught in this anonymous act of kindness. He explained that he heard you preach a sermon on the importance of living a life of compassion and kindness. He decided to put that sermon into practice by weeding my lawn."
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
So how can we encourage our pastor?
As someone who is married to a former pastor, I cannot say how important these are. So many low points of our ministry could have been made better if someone involved had done some of these. God is so good, and he sustains pastors, but it doesn't always have to be so hard for them.
Danell, the job of a pastor is not an easy road. I hope this post encourages us all to take better care of our shepherds.
This is so good!! I know I have a wonderful Pastor and he will tell you that he has been blessed by a great church family but even in that environment there are always areas that we can better serve our Pastor's. They are caring for God's people and have a mighty big job. We should most definitely be supportive of them in many ways!!
Thank you so much April! It's a good reminder for all of us.
As someone who comes from generations of pastors, thank you for writing this! It truly is a blessing. :)
Thank you Kelly! Generations of pastors— what a blessing!
I was a pastor's secretary for many years and I the ways you mention above to help support and encourage your pastor are excellent. Many people don't let it sink in that pastors are people, just like you and me. They feel, they hurt and they have struggles. Lifting them up in prayer and helping at the church are great ways to encourage. Another way to encourage a pastor is to encourage his wife (if he is married!) A pastor's time is stretched thin while he cares for his flock. Often his wife can feel alone. Offering to meet her for coffee can encourage her which will, in turn, encourage him!
You are so right Joan! Pastors are people too, just like us. They need encouragement and support. I love the idea of ministering to the pastor's wife too. That also is a difficult job. Sounds like another blog post... :)
Bless your heart Janet! A pastor's wife. Thankful that you and your husband serve in those positions.
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