How do you encourage your pastor?

Based on the emails, notes, and phone calls I continue to get, trust me…your pastor needs encouragement.  He needs to know that what he does week in and week out means something to God as well as those for whom he labors.  Here are 5 suggestions to accomplish this:

1) Share appreciation for how hard he works.  Maybe the most hurtful words a pastor and his wife can hear are not, “Bad sermon” or “that was a dumb decision” or “I don’t like the way you do that.”  Rather I submit words that imply this message can be the most hurtful, “You are lazy.”  Because of this, some of the most encouraging words a pastor and his wife can hear are words of gratefulness for how hard he works to preach faithfully and care for God’s people.

2) Give specific feedback to a sermon.  I’m not talking about the slap on the back, “Nice sermon” comment.  Instead be specific…”that insight into the text was really helpful, or that application really met me where I am struggling.”

3) Acknowledge the sacrifice of his family.  This will encourage his wife and children, but it will also be very meaningful to the pastor.  The pastor knowing you are thinking of his family can often times mean more than you thinking of him.

4) Reveal how you have spiritually grown under his ministry.  This is one thing a pastor labors to hear and hopes is taking place all over his congregation.  Stop keeping him in suspense and tell him so he knows.

5) Tell him how you specifically pray for him.  Your pastor of all people should know the significance of prayer.  The most meaningful things I hear isn’t, “I prayed for you” but, “I prayed that your sermon would be powerfully preached and eagerly received, or I prayed God would protect you and your family from the enemy through this important week.”

If not in these ways, find some way to encourage your pastor this week.  Never underestimate how meaningful and well-timed it can be when God would so lead you to do so.

Posted in Home and Family, The Pastor's Soul
One comment on “How do you encourage your pastor?
  1. Don Lewis says:

    I am not a pastor but rather a church historian writing a biography of a great pastor. I am surprised how widespread the notion is among lay people that pastors are not working hard enough. I attend a church with an attendance of about 800 people on a Sunday — it has only three pastors, each of whom work very hard. We get consistently very good to excellent preaching each week. But recently in a conversation around a table with other members of the congregation, a retired doctor was complaining that the pastoral staff does not do enough pastoral visiting in people’s homes and in hospital. I tried to gently admonish him that he was being unrealistic about how much the pastors could do given all of their commitments in a week, and that their task should be to equip the whole congregation to be ministers to each other in pastoral care. It seems that this is a chronic problem — unrealistic expectations by congregants of their ministers.
    Some of the most helpful and insightful work I’ve found on the pastoral office was done in the 4th century by Chrysostom (his Six books on the Priesthood) and in the 6th century by Gregory the Great (On Pastoral Care). They are both very realistic about the challenges of pastoral ministry.

4 Pings/Trackbacks for "How do you encourage your pastor?"
  1. […] How Do You Encourage Your Pastor?   A great article from Pastor Brian Croft on ways we can encourage our Pastors […]

  2. […] How do you encourage your pastor? | Practical Shepherding […]

  3. […] words of genuine appreciation can be a real blessing to his heart. My friend Brian Croft has some excellent counsel on encouraging your pastor, and it is worth considering and […]

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