10 Ways You Can Bless Your Pastor
Let me begin by saying that I have had this article in mind for quite some time, but have been hesitant to write it because I fear it being taken the wrong way. However, these are things I wish I had known while I was in the pew before I got behind the pulpit. Since I believe that this article would not only benefit our faith family, but other faith families as well, I will dispel as many false interpretations as possible.
False Interpretation #1: I am unhappy with my congregation. This could not be further from the truth. I am very happy with and very proud of my congregation.
False Interpretation #2: These are needs that are not being met in my life. That is not a categorically true statement. Many of these blessings are very much present in my life to a degree I could not have expected or requested. However, because I do not shepherd a perfect congregation, some of them are incomplete. But that will be the case with any pastor in the world.
False Interpretation #3: This is a negative article focusing on the church’s failures. I hope that you do not read this negatively. That is certainly not my aim. In fact, I would say that much of this can be read positively as you see the many things you do that are a blessing to your pastor. If you are not doing any of these things, then you will interpret this as a negative article. But that is an issue between you and the Lord.
False Interpretation #4: I want my church to start doing these things for me. My desire is not that our faith family will start doing these things for me. My desire is that they would start (or continue) doing them for the glory of God and the benefit of His church.
I know that there are many other misinterpretations possible, but those were the ones that hindered me. With that out of the way, let’s get down to it. Here is how you can bless your pastor:
Pray for Him
Prayer often gets tucked at the end of a conversation like this after all of the practical blessings. I cannot stress enough how desperate I am for your prayers. I promise you that I am not the only one. Pray for your pastor. Here are a few ways you can pray for him:
- Pray for his time in the Word. He has demands on his time just like you do. There is always something that is pulling him away from his studies. Pray for his ability to focus and glean life giving truth from the Word of God.
- Pray for his family. If his family begins to fall apart, the church will soon follow. Pray for his ability to lead his family and be there for them and with them. He is likely devoted to serving the church and more than willing to give up his time for you. Be sensitive to the fact that he needs time with his family.
- Pray for his personal holiness. Yes, your pastor struggles with sin. No it is not holier sin than what you struggle with. Pray for wisdom and discernment with regard to personal holiness.
Invite Him and His Family to Your Home
Most people believe that the pastor gets invited to everyone’s home all the time. That is not usually the case. The pastor’s home is often a revolving door of dinners and Bible studies but it can be rare to be invited to someone else’s home. Something as simple as a meal can prevent pastoral fatigue and burnout. Pastoral ministry can be lonely at times. Don’t let it be.
Love His Family
Your pastor’s family makes many sacrifices so that he can serve the church. Let him see that you love them. He knows that his kids are not perfect. He probably cringes every time they misbehave in church because he knows they are under a microscope. He knows that his wife is not perfect too, but she is the love of his life. Make her feel at home. She has probably moved away from her blood relatives to join your church family. Recognize that and welcome her with open arms.
Be Committed to the Church
Show up for more than Sunday morning service. Your pastor spends just as much time pouring over Scripture for the other services during the week (at least he should be). But this addresses false assumption #4. Although this will bless your pastor, it is not primarily about him. These services are designed to draw you closer to God. You should desire to be there.
A quick caveat about this point. There are many people that physically cannot be at other services because of work. I understand that completely. However, many people have just built up excuses for why they cannot and will not attend other services.
Volunteer to Serve
One of the most difficult things for a pastor to see is a church full of people that are unwilling to serve. This can be very frustrating when trying to accomplish the mission and vision of the church. It can be equally disheartening to have to “hunt down” volunteers for a ministry. Make your pastor smile and ask him how you can serve in your church. I guarantee he will have an answer for you.
Show up at functions and events that the church is hosting. Find out if there is a way that you can help serve during the event.
Oh great! A pastor writing about money. Yes. Unapologetically. As a follower of Christ you are commanded to give of your resources. Not by your pastor, by God. This is not about the pastor getting paid more either. Believe me he is not in it for the money. This is about being able to minister within the church and to the community. Make it easy for your pastor to create new ministry opportunities within the church.
Support Him Financially
Again, your pastor is not in ministry for the money. If he is, he does not need to be in ministry. However, if your pastor is constantly stressed about providing for his family, that stress will carry over to how he serves the church. Remember that he is likely hosting people in his home, buying books with which to study, and traveling all over town out of his own pocket. He will probably never bring the issue up either. Take the lead and make sure his needs are being met financially. (No this is not me asking for a raise. That would be false interpretation #5)
Submit to His Leadership
Your pastor is often called on to make difficult decisions. He has not arrived at his decision flippantly. He has likely spent much time in prayer and sought much counsel before coming to a conclusion. Support him and his leadership.
There will also be times when your pastor will not be able to disclose all of the reasons behind a decision. Give him the benefit of the doubt. He has likely served the church faithfully to this point. Trust his leadership in this area too.
Find Ways to Verbally Encourage Him
Telling him “Great job” after his sermon is not what he is looking for. He has heard that from someone after every sermon he has ever preached. Even the really bad ones. If you want to convey that the message meant something to you share specifically what moved you. That will communicate to him that the message had a real impact on your life and he will go home encouraged.
Take an Interest in Him Outside of the Pulpit
Ask him what books he is reading. He would love to tell you. He might try to push one or two of them on you. Don’t freak out. That’s just who he is. Find out what he enjoys doing in his free time or how he likes to relax. Find common ground with him or create some. Building a friendship outside of the church walls will benefit him greatly.