Growing up in a pastor's family, I had a front-row seat to just how hard my parents labored for the Lord in serving the church where God had called them to serve.
From in-home and hospital visits with members of the congregation, to hosting two-week-long revivals, to driving the church van so teenagers would have transportation to God's house, my parents did it all. With no church staff to help him due to the small size of the congregation (around 50 people), my dad was often a one-man wrecking crew.
I remember many Sundays when he would preach two sermons (both usually on the longer side), lead worship, pray for people at the altar, teach Sunday school, visit multiple shut-ins, drive the church van and oversee a meeting of the church board all in the same day.
Tired yet? I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Here's the point: Whether your pastor is over a small flock like the three churches my dad has shepherded over his 35-plus years of ministry or whether your pastor is responsible for a megachurch with thousands of people and dozens of campuses, he probably spends a good chunk of his time feeling physically, emotionally and, yes, even spiritually drained.
If you want to be a blessing in the kingdom of God, here's my advice: Start by blessing your pastor—the person who God, in His divine wisdom, appointed to "watch over your soul" and "give an account" (Heb. 13:17) for how he leads and feeds those under his spiritual authority.
Up next are five easy ways to encourage your pastor:
1. Write him a note—One of the most meaningful things you can do for your pastor is to write him a personal note telling him how much his work for the Lord means to you (if you're of a different gender than your pastor, maybe make the note from you and your spouse). Be sure to give at least one good example of how his ministry has impacted your life. This is certain to touch his heart and remind him that His efforts for the Lord are not in vain.
2. Give him a gift card—Galatians 6:6 (MEV) says, "Let him who is taught in the word share all good things with him who teaches." A practical way to follow this admonition of the apostle Paul is to send your pastor—and his wife—a gift card to a restaurant they can enjoy. If you don't know where your pastor likes to eat, ask the people who know him best so you're not just guessing. If you have your pastor's cell number, you can even text a gift card straight to his phone. You can always hand-deliver or mail it too.
3. Prepare him a meal—Your pastor undoubtedly spends long hours praying and seeking the face of God so he can bring you one or more hot meals from heaven every week. Let him know how thankful you are for that consistent, spiritual nourishment by preparing a literal meal for him and his family. Then drop it off at the church or their home—whichever is most convenient for them.
4. Create a "thank you" video—This one likely won't require a lot of effort, but it's almost sure to bring a smile to your pastor's face. Just grab your phone and record a short video of you and your family telling your pastor you love him ... and why. Something as simple as the whole family saying, "We love you, Pastor!" in unison might even be good enough. And, of course, if it's Pastor Appreciation Month—October—or your pastor's birthday, you can time your filming and sending around the occasion.
5. Let him know you pray for him—In 1 Timothy 5:17, Paul gives this instruction to Timothy and all believers: "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine." In other words, we are to show tremendous honor and respect to those God has placed in our lives to instruct and guide us in our relationship with Jesus Christ. It's likely that no one person has more influence on your walk with the Lord than your pastor, so be an encouragement by holding him up in prayer and telling him that you pray for him regularly.
Jared M. Turner is a freelance writer for charismamedia.com, living in North Carolina.
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