By Jesse Starr
Week after week pastors preach in their pulpits, often waiting for a word of encouragement to see that he matters to those in the pew; often the only encouragement he receives is the fact that he preached in the will of God. A pastor will minister to a saint (or relative of one) in a hospital bed; he ministers to a home in the midst of a family crisis either by appointment or in the middle of the night. A pastor is not just a preacher. He is an administrator, teacher, fund-raiser, janitor, counselor, arbitrator, leader and visionary. He works in a high-expectation environment in which he is constantly scrutinized and rarely applauded.
Who Is There To Encourage The Pastor?
Pastors need our physical support. Your faithfulness to the house of God shows him that what he is endeavoring to do for the Lord is worthwhile. Your support of tithes and offerings keeps him from growing gray and bald before his time. Keeping your criticism to yourself or taking your concerns directly to him, keeps the devil at bay amongst the congregation. A pastor is encouraged when he sees the saints reaching out to the lost and seeing the ones you have invited come to church. Volunteer your time, talents to the kingdom of God…. without being asked and without being constantly prompted to do what you said you would do. Be an encourager.
Pastors need our spiritual support. Your pastor needs your prayer support. Many of your pastors will pray for you. Who will pray for their pastor? When a pastor knows you are praying for him, he will feel sustained and encouraged by this. Sharing your spiritual growth with the pastor encourages him. Perhaps a particular sermon convicted you in a way you didn’t expect. Or maybe your pastor pointed out some scriptures to you during a difficult time. Tell your pastor how his ministry has affected your life… better yet, write it down and give it to him so he can go back and reread it. Be an encourager.
Pastors need our support of his family. The pastor can do many more things when he knows that his family is taken care of. Again, be faithful and consistent in your giving. Many times pastors’ wives and their children often feel isolated and pressured by high expectations. Small gestures can ease this burden. Invite his family for a meal; offer to babysit preschoolers so he can have time with his wife. Offer to make a meal once a week or every other week… especially when you know his wife works and they could benefit from a decent meal. Give your pastor a gift of money so he can take his family out to eat on Sundays. Be an encourager.
Ways to be a blessing year around could include all of the above, plus remembering him and his family on special days. Pastors celebrate birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. These are wonderful opportunities to acknowledge your pastor with a card, note or gift. Say thank you. It costs nothing to say, “Thank you for everything you are doing. Your ministry has had a great positive effect on my life.” But those words are priceless to your pastor. I Timothy 5:17 reads, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
Make a difference to your pastor by being an encourager.
This article “An Encourager” written by Jesse Starr is excerpted from Apostolic Accent.