That got me thinking about this thought. After spending a couple of hours together sharing and encouraging one another, I asked myself, "I wonder what their people are doing to encourage each of them? Do they even understand the pressure under which their pastors operate?"
So, here's my thought for you today. If you are a church attender, here's a list of ways you can encourage your pastor wherever you are (hopefully some of you go to their church):
- Ask. Rather than assuming you know what he needs, ask him. Then, be prepared to listen.
- Come to church regularly. You see, a pastor is called to serve because God sees a man who will care for his people. We do care. Regardless of what you may think. And when you aren't there, it's like a part of our family is missing. Be there, in your place, on a regular basis.
- Treat him normal. Don't place unreal expectations on him or his family. He's called to be your pastor, not Superman. Joke with him, laugh with him and give him a break if he isn't constantly in the best of moods. He is a human being.
- Respect him. This is biblical. Your pastor deserves an extra measure of respect because he will some day have to answer to God for how he lead God's church. But you will some day have to answer to God for how difficult you made that job for him. (Ouch!)
- Love him. Faults and all. And, yes, he does have plenty of faults. So does his family.
- Balance. If you are going to feel free to criticize him (you know you do it every Sunday after church on the way to the restaurant) then feel equally free to encourage and compliment him. In fact, it takes one hundred positive comments to outweigh one negative one. You better get busy. Why don't you start right now? NO... seriously, right now.
- Know that you don't know everything. You don't know every issue he is handling right now. You don't know the secrets he has been told that he is carrying around. You don't know what the phone call was about at midnight last night. And you have to remember, he deals with this on top of his own family's concerns.
- Help in the little ways. How about buying his family lunch one Sunday or offering to cut his grass one week? How about taking his kids so he can have a date night with his wife? Wash his car one Saturday without him knowing or buy his family tickets to some cool event that you know they would enjoy. Just the little things help remove a ton of weight. Looking at the faces of my some of my brothers today, they could use it.
- Above all else and in addition to everything I've mentioned, never fail to pray for him. I guarantee he will love you for that.
Before I end, I've got to say thank you to my Ridgeview family. I came into the office after the meeting and told Pastor Eddie, "I love my church. I am so thankful God has me with these people." You love your pastors well...but you can always do a little better GRIN