While this month is designated Pastor Appreciation Month, every month should be filled with appreciation for the selfless and sacrificial service minister provide every day of the year. (Having a day off from being a pastor is like having a day off from a pregnancy!)
So, from someone who has spent forty years in ministry, here are Top ten ways to appreciate your pastor this month—and every month: (Feel free to add more in the comment section.)
10. Make sure the church pays him/her well. It’s hard to carry the cares of the church when one is wondering how to pay bills.
9. Instead of providing a parsonage, provide a housing allowance so he/she can build up equity. (Too many pastors retire “homeless.”)
8. Instead of saying, “Good sermon, pastor,” point out a specific point that was helpful. Pastors get numb to that repeated phrase.
7. Say “Amen,” raise a hand, or simply nod your head when you agree with a sermon point. It’s hard to preach to an oil painting!
6. Send him/her an email of encouragement Monday. That’s the day most pastors consider resigning and putting on a Walmart vest.
5. Offer to babysit the pastor’s kiddos so the couple can have a date night. And provide the couple with a gift certificate to a restaurant—specifically, one without a drive-through.
4. If someone gripes to you about the pastor, stop them cold with, “Have you talked to him/her about this? I don’t want to hear gossip.”
3. Respect your pastor’s calling, education and experience. Too many laypeople believe they know more about running a church than the pastor.
2. Invite them out to lunch—without “something important to talk about.” Just listen to him/her. Be an encourager!
1. Pray. No one but a fellow pastor knows the pressure and temptation facing a pastor and his/her family.
Copyright © 2017 James N. Watkins
And if you’re a pastor, here’s some hope and humor:
• A case for women in ministry
• Considering a post-clergy career?
• Does God make “prank” calls?
• It is a wonderful life
• Membership standards for the modern church
• The Watkins New World Church Dictionary
• Top ten list: When you’re voted out
• Wounded shepherd: When is it time to leave the flock?
• The Whoopie Cushion Code
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