How Can You Help Your Pastor?
Stressors Exist in the Pastorate
One of the things I have noticed after being in ministry and having some dear friends of mine who I know who are also in ministry, is that there are stressors on pastors that people do not know about.
Most pastors feel shame even admitting there are stressors because, well after all, we have the best job in the world: we are servant to God’s Elect. We get paid to study and to think deeply about the things of God. And so I know as I talk to people in ministry, they struggle because consequently they should be closest to God, right?
Bad Days Happen to Everyone
There are days in any person's life that it is just “not a good day.” The same is true with shepherds. There are days when our tongues gets the best of us. There are days when we wake up, and we get to work, and our motivation is dangerously low. There are days when conflict arises from our closest and deepest relationships, including our wives and children.
There are days when we start to doubt and question, “Am I really even doing anything?” There are days when we hear about other churches about what they are doing and are asked point-blank, “Why aren’t we doing that?” There is are days in ministry where we feel ill-equipped, where we find ourselves upset at ourselves for not knowing every answer to every question asked.
There are days when our prayers are as simple as, “God help me make it through the day.” There are days when we will watch our hearts be more torn up over another person’s marriage failing than they are. The list can go on and on.
I do not tell you all of this so you can think, “Oh woe is the pastor.” Everyone has tough jobs. We all have difficult parts of our lives.
Lean on Me When You're Not Strong
Most people who know their pastor, know this is true, they just do not know how to help. So I want to give you a few ways in which you can help your pastor who is called to care for the souls of the church he is called to lead (Hebrews 13:17).
First, pray. Pray long, pray short, pray often, whatever you do, pray.
Any pastor who knows the Lord and loves the Lord knows that the prayer of a righteous man has great power (James 5:16). This means every pastor knows the thing most needed is for people to intercede to the Lord.
My lifeline in ministry is directly connected to my people praying for me. The difference between a good sermon and a great sermon on Sunday morning is how many people prayed for me that morning. So pray, fast, and seek the Lord on behalf of your pastor.
Pastors know when their sermons are not the best. They know when they are not being clear. Pastors are hard on themselves. Encouragement to a pastor is a reminder that you are on their team.
We all have one enemy, Satan, the accuser. Encouragement is the opposite of accusation. Copy and paste that into your twitter feed! Encouragement is necessary because if your pastor is a qualified elder (1 Timothy 3), he loves his calling, he hates the darts of the enemy, he desires a noble task and he wants to fulfill that to the best of his ability for his chief shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). So in encouragement remind your pastor of how the chief shepherd sees his undershepherd more than anything else.
Help the Guest
Finally, the best way you can help your pastor is by helping him fulfill what he has been called to on Sunday mornings. If you have a pastor who loves to do the work of the evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5) then he wants to see and talk to guests. Sometimes no guests come on a Sunday, sometimes many.
You can help him by making sure those guests are talked to and welcomed. Make sure those guests here how great of a church it is you are a member of. If you notice there are guests around and you need to talk to your pastor, set up a meeting with him. Allow him to speak to the new person who has come to the church.
Your pastor wants to hear from you, he wants to hear about what you need to talk to him about, but its difficult when he wants to say hello to the new person when someone else is taking up his time about something that could have been done with a meeting or a phone call.
Know that being a pastor is demanding, always feeling inefficient, always feeling behind. Yet, he loves the members of his church because Christ loved the church and gave himself up for his Church. Your pastor's spiritual healthiness will translate into your spiritual healthiness.