How’s your pastor doing? What’s he struggling with? How is family doing? Is he loving his wife and kids well? Is his health okay? Does he have people he can confide in? Does he have consistent accountability to help sharpen in the areas of dullness and encourage in the areas of strength? Where are the messages he’s preaching coming from? How much is he wrestling with what he’s preaching about? These are all great questions to ask your pastor. Let him know that you love him!
Think about it. Whether the congregation you’re a part of is big or small, your pastor is making a lot of sacrifices (or he should be!!) The pastors I’m thinking of at least are always meeting with people. They’re counseling people, encouraging people, helping to teach others to lead, overseeing the direction of the church, and serving every which way. These men freely give so much of their lives away. Are we letting them know that they’re loved and appreciated for using the gifts God has given in them in the way they do?
It’s a good idea to make it a practice to give your pastor some encouragement when the time allows. I say this because of an article like this one I read a couple years ago. I couldn’t stomache the idea of losing someone I love like that without letting them know that they are loved and that I want the best for him and his family.
Here are a few things I would love to pull my pastor aside to share, for even just five minutes if that’s all that I had to work with:
- Tell him how you were encouraged or challenged by his preaching.
- Be affectionate. Tell him that you love him. Hug him. Pray for him.
- Tell him what he does well and how it helps you to process things.
And for goodness sake, guys and gals….. Please, PLEASE… It’s alright to have a conflicting view with something said or done, but be considerate. The time leading up to a worship service or the time immediately following it IS NOT a good time for negative criticism. Set up a time where the two of you can meet privately and discuss whatever the issue is. These men are already overly critical of their own prayers, the way they preach their own sermons, and whatever their shortcomings may be as it is. It’s not loving to make things more stressful for them at the time immediately before or after participating in worship, is it?
Lastly, be sure to thank his wife for her sacrifices as well. If this article is something that’s commonplace, she can be feeling isolated even though she’s surrounded by loving people.
I can’t stress enough how much better off the congregation is when the pastor is well loved. With the right encouragement, you get better preaching. With the right accountability, his family will have a better husband, father, and so on. You may even find a way to serve alongside him that stregthens the bond that you have and contributes to the overall health of the church.
I’ve shared some things I do commonly, but my thoughts aren’t the come all, end all. What ways can you think of to better love your pastor and his family? Be spontaneous and creative! Let us think of ways we can love one another as Jesus does.
Read more: The folks over at Desiring God have something to say about this too.