21 WAYS TO HONOR AND LOVE YOUR PASTOR
Dr. Joseph Dutton
Anyone that has ever had a job working with the public would know that dealing with people and personalities is one of the hardest jobs in the world. There’s no difference when you’re a pastor. Most pastors are overworked and underpaid. Most pastors of small churches of less than two hundred people, give back more to their church (in time, talent and treasure) than the church is able to give to them.
This is why I wrote this blog. I want people to appreciate their man or woman of God and their family. What you fail to appreciate will soon exit your life. If you really love the man or woman of God that’s been set over you, then do everything you can to help them carry the weight of the vision and always be a blessing to them.
Here are twenty-one ways to be a blessing to your pastor:
#1: Make time to say thank you!
Today many come to service late and rush to get out the door because our lives are always set on GO!
This week, make it a point to stay after service and speak to your pastor and tell them how much you enjoyed the Word.
Don’t take up all of their time, but at least take a moment and let them know you are receiving and growing in God through their teaching. Just that little wave, handshake or smile is encouragement enough and let’s the pastor know you are getting it and you are for them.
#2: Make it a point to randomly mail your pastor a card or letter two or three times a year.
Did you know, most of all the feed back that pastors receive is negative?
Too many take time to let the pastor “have it” when it comes to services and sermons, but few take the time to write the pastor and let him/her know just how much they are being a blessing and encouragement. Send it to the church and to their attention. That letter or card once or twice a year could be the very thing that keeps your man or woman of God going strong!
#3: Have you ever needed the pastor for something?
A funeral, a wedding, a hospital visit or maybe counseling?
Never let the pastor do a service for you or your family and not give back to them. Be sure to give them a thank you card with a gift in it.
Most pastors would never expect anything from you for doing what they are called and gifted to do, but we should never just expect them to do it and not be compensated.
#4: Be sure the church gives the pastor an appreciation service.
October is pastor appreciate month and it’s good to do a service corporately to show the pastor(s) just how much the church body needs and appreciates them. It’s not a bad idea to celebrate them more than once a year! Do the “October” thing and then do one in the spring or summer to surprise them.
#5: Never ever overlook the pastor’s spouse. When celebrating the pastor, you can’t fail to celebrate their spouse as well. Most pastors’ spouses are just as involved, or maybe more involved, as the pastor.
You can’t love the pastor and not love their spouse! They are a team. Even if the spouse is never seen or heard, don’t take them for granted. They feel every pain, insult and rejection that the pastor feels.
It would be a good thing to set a day aside just to celebrate them. Take up an offering for them, send them a gift certificate for a day of shopping and pampering.
If you bless the pastor’s spouse you are blessing the pastor even more.
#6: Never forget your pastor’s children.
Pastor’s kids are always under such undeserved scrutiny.
Someone once said how bad the pastor’s kids are. My response to that is, they have to play with your children. LOL.
Do something for them that will show your appreciation.
Let them know that you love them and appreciate all they do to make the church the great church it is.
#7: When’s the last time your pastor took a vacation?
The church should think about getting a vacation package for the pastor or a membership to a vacation club. Maybe you or someone in the church has an extra week in a vacation club… why not donate it to the pastor. Getting away for a few days or a few weeks to recharge and relax will do wonders for your pastor.
Pray for your man or woman of God. Take time to lift them up in prayer every day. Pray that the Lord strengthen them, provide for them and send in the help needed for the vision. When you pray for others, God will answer your own prayers faster! God turned Job’s captivity when he prayed for his friends.
#9: Never send an empty card or letter.
Always have a gift in it- a check, cash or gift card. Does anybody read the cards? Most times that’s all pastors get to do… why not surprise them and do a little better than just the common Hallmark poem.
#10: This one may seem small, but this is one of the biggest ways to bless and encourage your man or woman of God.
GO TO CHURCH and BE ON TIME! It seems in our generation that people are not as committed to Church Life as they use to be. Having you in service worshipping and serving helps the pastor feel what they are doing is not in vain.
Do your best to be there every time the door is open. And if you know the pastor is out of town, for God’s sake, don’t miss that service. Pastor needs you even more when they aren’t there. This one is not just for your pastor… you need it too, but that’s a post for another time.
#11: Be a giver! It’s factual that 20% of the people (or less) carry 80% of the financial load in a ministry. Don’t be a “Freddy Freeloader” … be a tither and a giver.
The benefits of The Lord’s tithe and giving of offerings are much bigger than encouraging the pastor, but nothing says, “I’m for you sir and I’m for the VISION”, like being a consistent giver.
#12: Don’t forget Christmas! Be sure your fellow members are working together in doing something for the pastor.
A Christmas bonus for the pastor is a must for every church. I said A MUST!!!! Set up a Christmas club account and be sure to bless the pastor and his family every Christmas.
#13: Never let the pastor have to plan his own appreciation.
Recently I spoke with a pastor that said he got tired of planning his own anniversary and hasn’t had an appreciation service in three years. My heart sank. My heart sank for two reasons. One, the pastor had to plan his own appreciation service. And two, when he stopped no one picked up the responsibility.
Don’t let this happen. You need to be sure the time is right and doesn’t conflict with the church schedule, but don’t let your pastor plan his own appreciation and don’t plan it late. Take the time to do it right and include the whole church.
#14: Being a blessing to your pastor isn’t always about money.
When you are blessed by the pastor and the vision, not to mention that you just LOVE GOD!, don’t forget to share that excitement to other people. Your neighbors, your friends, your community and on social media… be sure to invite and bring people to church with you. If you are ashamed of your pastor and your church, then find another church.
If you love where the Lord planted you and whom he planted you under, then help the church grow and do the work of the ministry!
Make it a point this next year to bring in at least one new family or two new people to your church. If everyone would do this, our churches would explode!
#15: Like I said in number fourteen, being a blessing isn’t always about money.
Find ways to volunteer around the church. There’s always something that needs to be done around a church facility and in the ministry. Maybe make some phone calls, clean the bathrooms, vacuum the floors, run some errands… what ever it is, do it with joy and it will always make the load lighter on your man or woman of God.
#16: Never forget the pastor’s birthday!
Or their spouse’s birthday! Be sure to mark this date down on the church calendar and have everyone help celebrate the pastor! Make a BIG DEAL about it!
#17: Say AMEN!
I know some church cultures are not into “helping the preacher preach”, but you can be a huge blessing by letting your voice be heard! I’ve seen people sleep, talk, eat snacks, cut their nails and balance checkbooks while preaching. Don’t be a knot on a log… engage with the message. Take notes, wave your hand, stand up when you feel a witness, and don’t forget to say Yes and Amen!
#18: NEVER PARTICIPATE WITH GOSSIP!
Let’s face it, it’s enviable; people who get offended are not happy leaving a church without talking about and running down the pastor. Anything could have offended them, and it’s always going to be the pastor’s fault. Those kind of people don’t leave quiet… they always run their mouth. Don’t listen to it. And don’t fall for the lie that they just want you to pray about it. This may seem harsh, but it’s worth saying… If they talked about the pastor but won’t talk to the pastor, then you shouldn’t be fellowshipping their unfruitful works of darkness.
#19: Ezekiel 44:30 ...give unto the priest the first of your dough, that he may cause the blessing to rest in thine house. - SOW A SEED!
When pastor is preaching or afterward he or she finishes, take the time to sow a seed into their life! Honor is MONEY! Money releases the blessing. Who knows, your seed sown in honor may just release a culture of harvest in your life that you couldn’t get other wise. Some of my greatest blessings came because I personally placed a seed of honor in the hands of the man of God!
#20: Is your pastor on social media?
Take the time to read their post and click “like” and “share”. Seeing the members of your church enjoying what you’re saying, as a pastor, is very encouraging.
#21: Never forget who your pastor is.
Pastors are not just some political figure or family friend. The Lord said, I will send you pastors after my own heart, Jeremiah 3:15. Your pastor is a MAN/WOMAN of GOD sent by God to you and your family. Your pastor is a grace gift given by the Ascended Christ, Ephesians 4:10-12. Always honor and respect your pastor. Never treat them like a buddy. They are God’s mouthpiece for your church and your community. My last way of being a blessing to your pastor is, honor them as The Gift of God they are. II Chronicles 20:20 Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. Honor is more than words. Put your time, your talent and your treasure where your mouth is! Be a blessing to your prophet and you will live in the blessing yourself!