7 Things You Should Be Telling Your Pastor
If you could spend one week in your Pastor's shoes, you might be surprised to hear what many people say to them. "This needs fixed." "I don't agree with that." "Did you hear the latest rumor?" If you want your Pastor's attention and respect, here are 7 Things You Should Be Telling Your Pastor:
1. “Thank you.” It sounds simple, but most churchgoers fail to communicate these two simple, yet important words. Remember the time your Pastor gave you counsel that got you out of a jam? How about the many times your Pastor has taken the time to pray with you? With all of the criticism that your Pastor hears (and they hear A LOT), a simple (and regular) “Thank You” can make them remember why they chose to get into a career of ministry in the first place.
John 12:26 NIV: Jesus said: "Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me."
2. “Great Sermon.” If you think that the line of people waiting to talk to your Pastor after the sermon are staying to say, “Great Sermon”, think again. Most are actually waiting to request prayer, ask for advice, ratting someone out, or offering theological correction. After spending hours upon hours each week preparing and praying about the sermon, a comment of gratitude for their sermon after feeding a hungry flock can really put life back into your Pastor.
Jeremiah 3:15 AMP: Then I will give you [spiritual] shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and [true] understanding.
3. “What Can I Help You With?” Any idea how many people during the week “inform” their Pastor about all of the things their church needs? Rest assured, Pastors already know. What your Pastor has very few of, are people who can help them with important projects that are unfinished (many of which, someone else may have previously dropped the ball on). Regularly asking this question during your conversations with your Pastor will show them that you’re a part of their church’s solution—rather than part of the problem.
Galatians 6:9 RSV: And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.
4. “I’m In!” Starting a new church ministry, community project, or asking for money to fix something in the children’s ministry can be daunting for your Pastor. “Will anyone get behind this project?” is a question that often plagues Pastors. Letting your Pastor know that they can count on your support distinguishes you from the masses and confirms to them that you are a team player.
Hebrews 13:17 ESV: Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
5. “Thank You For Trusting Me.” Ever wonder what thought process went into agreeing to let you take on the duty at church that you occupy? The answer is: Lots. Avoiding being the lead report on the 10pm news because of a volunteer's bad behavior keeps many Pastors awake at night. Whether you’re the Associate Pastor, a greeter, sing background on the worship team, or you volunteer once a month to work with the children’s ministry, chances are, your Pastor put a lot of thought, prayer, and trust into placing you and others in the roles you serve in.
Hebrews 13:7: Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
6. “I’m Glad You’re My Pastor.” In today’s society, relationships are becoming more and more disposable. Marriages often end when there is a simple difference of opinion. Parents yank their children out of one school and into another when a teacher or coach looks at their child the wrong way. In the same way, Pastors are often seen as disposable to many parishioners. “My old Pastor was funnier.” “My old Pastor did what you’re doing a better way.” Telling your Pastor that they’re appreciated strengthens your bond and reinforces that you’re in the relationship for the long haul.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 ESV: We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
7. “Here’s A Little Something to Show My Appreciation.” The Grant Shake. Don’t know what that is? It’s when someone walks up to their Pastor for what appears to be a handshake, but they’re discreetly passing them a $50. Who all doesn’t need to know they’re appreciated from time to time? Well, Pastors aren’t any different. Even if The Grant Shake doesn’t meet your budget, a $20 Applebee’s, Starbuck’s or gas card, a “Thank you” greeting card, or even a hand-written letter of appreciation says a lot to an over-worked and (likely under-paid) Pastor.
1 Timothy 5:17 TLB: Pastors who do their work well should be paid well [be considered worthy of double honor ESV] and should be highly appreciated, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching.
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