Many have lost trust and respect for leadership. That includes anyone in authority. Police. Teachers. Government officials. And, yes, even pastors. Frankly, some have abused their power and failed us. That’s tragic.
However, most pastors are in ministry because they are called by God and genuinely love people. We need to guard their position, not for their sake, but for the sake of the unity and effectiveness of the church. So, here are some ways to properly treat your pastor.
- Assume the best. Your pastor wants your church to be fruitful and effective. He doesn’t stay up all night thinking of ways to make you miserable. Even when you disagree with them, assume the best.
- Trust them. Every relationship requires trust. Without that, we can’t grow and work together. God has given your pastor the gifts and graces to care for the church.
- Follow them. Pastors are called to shepherd and oversee the church family. Our default should be to say “yes” to our pastor’s leadership. Hebrews 13:17 says that we should do that so “their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you!” If you question everything a pastor does, no one gets anywhere. Be willing to follow!
- Support them. . 1 Timothy 5:17 says that elders are worthy of “double honor.” I’m not sure what all that entails, but I know it includes support with our finances as well as our words. I can’t tell you how much a word of encouragement means to a pastor. Tell him or her that you appreciate them!
- Speak well of them. We laugh about having the pastor for lunch after a Sunday service. Don’t let others criticize and gossip about your pastor. If there is a problem or concern, go and talk directly to them. The bottom line is that your pastor is trying their best. They may not always get it right, but as they lead and preach and serve, they deserve to be treated with respect and love, right?
BEFORE YOU GO
By the way, next month is PASTOR’S APPRECIATION! I know that a lot of pastors feel funny about this emphasis, but don’t let that stop you. Here is a tip: The number one gift for Pastor’s Appreciation is a gift certificate for them to take out their spouse and family.
Here are a few websites for ideas on how you can appreciate your pastor next month: