Today may be the last day of the official “Pastor Appreciation Month”, but we all need encouragement and appreciation year round. Keep these things in mind throughout the year, and especially during the upcoming busy holiday season!
Are you caring for your pastor?
A significant part of your pastor’s job description involves caring for people…people just like you and me. However, your pastor, like us, also needs caring for. They too endure various challenges in their lives. There are pastors who struggle with marital concerns, family issues, burnout, or ministry challenges. Are these difficulties preventable? Can you as a regular church attender help keep your pastor encouraged and vibrant in his ministry? I say a resounding YES to both questions! Many difficulties are preventable and YOU can have a profoundly good impact on your pastor and pastoral staff! Too often, pastors who lack support, feel overworked, or aren’t appreciated and valued, are prone to discouragement. Unfortunately, that will affect their passion and effectiveness in ministry. Do you want to be among those who lovingly encourage their pastor? Here are seven effective ways to powerfully impact your pastor:
- Determine how you are spiritually gifted through an assessment and then ask your pastor or church leadership how you can exercise your gift in serving the church and/or community. (Eph. 2:10)
- Pray regularly for your pastor and his family and let them know you are praying for them.
- Choose to support him even though you may not fully agree with every decision he makes.
- Accept him for who he is and don’t compare him in disparaging ways to the previous pastor. (If God wanted to make a clone of the previous pastor, I’m sure He could have done that. However, it appears that God loves variety!)
- Respect him for who he is and extend grace for his weaknesses and shortcomings.
- Check in with him to make sure he is getting enough rest and that he takes his day off! Regularly encourage him to maintain sufficient margin time in his schedule so that he has adequate time and energy for the unexpected ministry emergencies.
- Consider the many practical things you can do like changing the oil on his car, giving gift cards for his family’s favorite restaurant, babysitting, etc.
I trust you get the idea! Take some time to consider what your role can be in caring for your pastor.
This is Pastors’ Appreciation Month. Let him/them know how much you appreciate them! However, all of us like to be encouraged every month of the year. Be adventurous and creative in encouraging your pastor regularly. And please, be praying for your pastor and his family. You might be delightfully surprised at the remarkable dividends in store for you, your pastor, and your church!
Director of Pastoral Care