Pastors need encouragement. Often, most church members only see a small part of the pastoral ministry: The Sunday Service.
It is easy to forget the other aspects of ministry that your pastor has been doing throughout the week. Much of it goes unnoticed. Ministry can be quite demanding, both spiritually and physically, on your pastor. Your pastor probably needs encouragement. Many pastors go for long periods of time with no encouragement from their congregations. This often, and sadly, leads to ministry burnout. Burnout hurts the pastor, his family, and his congregation. And it is completely preventable. One way to help your pastor avoid ministry burnout is to encourage him. He probably feels the weight of ministry over and over again, and could use some encouragement everyday from his congregation. Because of this great need for encouragement, I have given 5 ways that you can encourage your pastor(s).
- Pray for your pastor every single day. Over and over again, Paul requests prayer for himself and other ministry leaders of the day. Paul needed the payers of the people of the church. Overseeing the church is not easy, and it can be a spiritual struggle. Struggle with you pastor in prayer everyday. Be sure to let him know that you are praying for him as well. This is foundational to encouraging your pastor and your church’s leadership. They need your prayers. They need to know that you are praying for them.
- Affirm your pastor by building him up. The worst thing you can do for your pastor is speak negatively behind his back (better known as gossip). Your pastor, though he is the spiritual leader of your congregation, needs to be edified. Build your pastor up, biblically. Use your words to build up your pastor, not to tear him down. Gossip divides and discourages. Let your pastor know when his sermon influences you. Let your pastor know that the church is helping you grow spiritually. You may never know how much you words of affirmation help your pastor, and that’s okay. Your words help so much. Build him up. Affirm his ministry and leadership.
- Get involved with the ministries of the church. One major stressor for pastors is a lack of volunteerism. Pastors pray and pray over what ministries their church should take part in. They pray that the ministries are a part of the vision of their church. T A lot of work goes into the ministries of the church from the pastoral side. Get involved! Your pastor will be encouraged when he sees you serving in the various ministries of the church. Let him know that you care about the ministries by taking part.
- Allow your pastor to disciple you. We all need to be discipled. We need spiritual leadership, whether we want to admit that or not. Your church leadership is in place to disciple you. Allow them to help you grow in your faith. You can benefit from this. God has raised up your pastor and church leaders to help everyone in the congregation grown spiritually. Let them live that calling, even in your life. They want to help you grow (hopefully).
- Accept your pastor’s leadership. God appoints the leadership of the church. He gifts them, by his marvelous grace, with the ability to lead the church. Accept your pastor’s leadership of the church. You may not always see eye to eye, but you should accept your pastor’s leadership. Hopefully, your pastor has prayed about the vision of the church, and is doing everything he can to see that vision come to fruition. Hopefully, your pastor is leading under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and is leading with conviction. Do not undermine him. Accept his leadership with grace, humility, and submission. He will mess up. He is not perfect. In those moments, pray for him, forgive him, and continue to accept his leadership.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. There are many ways you can encourage your pastor, and I would love to hear those ways in the comments. Share how you are currently encouraging your pastor. If you are not actively encouraging your pastor, today is a great day to start!