«I have a concern.»
«Can we talk?»
«I need to drop by this week and share some things with you that have been bothering me for a while.»
Pastors/church planters get this all the time.
Pastors are always waiting for someone to come and tell them that they aren’t “enough”. While they—by grace—know that they are in fact enough through the finished work of Jesus Christ on their behalf, they are yet always waiting to hear from one more person in their church that they need to improve, become better, or change something about themselves. Every “concern” brings up insecurities and fears in the pastor’s heart and mind. Add to this the continued growth of “varsity preachers” that the people of their congregation can listen to (and do listen to) via a podcast app. These are perhaps good but they set up such a standard to live and preach by that most pastors rarely feel—practically—that they’re good enough.
What can you say to encourage your pastor?
So what can you say to encourage your pastor? How about this:
- You look sharp today!
- I want to take you and your wife out to eat to any restaurant of your choice.
- Let’s go buy some fun socks and a new outfit for you.
- You need 18 holes of golf next week. I’ll make that happen.
- Here’s a grocery gift card!
- Of all the pastors God could have brought to our church, He brought you. I’m thrilled about that and I’m thankful for you.
- Thanks for studying the Bible.
- The consistency of your sermons is remarkable. Your faithfulness to Jesus is inspiring.
- Thank you.
- Praying for you, sir.
Additionally, here are some questions to ask your pastor:
- How are you?
- How can I pray for you?
- Are you getting enough time with your wife and family?
- Can I/we babysit for you guys?
- Is there any project in/around your home that I could help you with?
- Are you getting enough rest?
- What would you like to do for fun that I could help make happen?
- Is their a conference you would like to attend this year but can’t afford? Let me take care of it!
- Who is pouring/investing into your life?
Allow your words to give life to your pastor.
Church, help your pastor not become a negative statistic. I know he may seem like he is fine and he is strong but don’t allow that to cause you to pray less for him or over look his need for encouragement and investment. Don’t expect someone else to do it. Take it upon yourself. Allow your words to give life to your pastor. Give to him so as to encourage him and his family. He will be better for it—and you will reap the benefits of having a satisfied and happy pastor. …and do this more than just in October!
Jeremy Rose is the Lead and Teaching Elder/Pastor at The Axis Church in Nashville, Tennessee and serves as a coach to church planters. He also serves as the Area Lead for Middle Tennessee in the Acts 29 US Southeast Network. He and Jill have been married for 15 years and have four children. You can follow Jeremy here on Twitter.