I came across this article by Kevin DeYoung on care instructions for our pastors and ministers. It contains a number of practical steps we as a church can take to ensure they remain in the peak of condition with sleek coats and bright teeth.* Anyway, here are the bullet point highlights.
How about we try to give some of these ideas a go? This week?
“How members of the congregation can care for their Pastors:
- Hunger to hear the Word of God preached
- Invite your pastor and his family over for dinner (everyone assumes they receive a lot of invitations, but in many cases they don’t)
- Pray for him regularly–that he would faithfully preach the Word, seek the Lord, delight more in the Lord, and have a love for the people he is blessed to minister to
- Refrain from Monday morning emails, unless they are an encouragement. Mondays are hard days for many pastors.
- Be willing to graciously challenge him if his teaching or preaching was in error
- Respect his day off. Most pastors work long days and many evenings. They need a good day off.
- Don’t expect him to come to everything. Your pastor still loves you even if he doesn’t make your child’s ballet performance, son’s honour society banquet, or even your mom’s funeral.
- Send an encouragement card every once in a while
- As tempting as it may be, don’t compare your pastor to “celebrity pastors” – Be thankful for him and his labour in your midst.
- Babysit his kids for an evening, so he and his wife can go out on a date
- Insist that the church provide a good salary and benefits for him – be generous.
- If you have a new ministry idea, don’t propose it unless you are willing to do the hard work of setting it up and serving to see its vision realised
- Refrain from telling him what you disliked about the sermon as you shake his hand on the way out of the sanctuary
- Speak well of him to others in the congregation
- Have no expectations regarding his wife and her service in the church beyond those you have for any other woman in the church
- Be especially kind to his children
- Understand that your pastor will not be gifted in every area of ministry and be content with that
- Be teachable
- Often remind yourself that he has a lot of different sheep under his care
- Give him the benefit of the doubt regarding decisions, leadership, vision, etc.
- Don’t ride your hobby horse too much and too often
- The greatest care you can provide for your pastor is to pursue Christ with all that you are and serve the church with an uncommon zeal and humility.”
* Or is that dogs?