Monday, January 14, 2008

Encourage Your Pastor

I was up late chatting with my friend Bill last night, when I noticed I had gotten a sweet note from an Element guy on my Facebook about my message delivered just hours earlier. I shared it with Bill, and he said, "Kinda makes it all worth it, huh?"
Technically, it doesn't. Being able to proclaim Jesus just make ministry efforts "worth it." But, yeah, getting comments like that does kinda make it all worth it. It's a huge relief knowing people are enjoying, feeling served by, being satisfied with, and edified by my efforts.
Maybe that makes me an egomaniac, but I like to think it just makes me human.

If you love your pastor, I hope you take as many opportunities as you can to encourage him. I know it doesn't sound like much, but he likely hears much criticism privately and is constantly dealing with the pressures of keeping many people satisfied in their service and attendance.

Remember that your pastor typically has the same responsibilities and concerns as you -- financial responsibilities, busy-ness and exhaustion, child raising, not to mention dealing with the same sin/repentance dynamic as you -- but he is also not just thinking about his immediatel family, but the whole congregation. When a couple is on the verge of divorce, he bears that weight. When parents have a child who is running from God, he bears that weight. When Sister Ethel and Sister Margaret are arguing over what color the such-and-such in the fellowship hall should be, he bears that weight. If people are upset about attendance/music/teaching/whatever, he bears that weight. A good pastor is helping young people fall in love, and he is helping ill people die well. You may have a family (and perhaps employees or employers) constantly looking to you, wanting something from you. But he likely has far more people looking to him, wanting something from him, and the wants are often spiritualized, giving them an extra weight.

He has the weight of many on his shoulders.

He probably will not tell you about his marriage problems, his financial problems, his dealing with depression or struggling with addictive behavior. Maybe he needs help. Or maybe he just needs to know more often that people appreciate his service and leadership.
Verbal encouragement won't solve problems, but it does help.

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