Mine Creek Baptist Church
Support your Pastor!
By Preacher Chris Rathbone
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. This is an article which has been printed before, but I felt compelled to share again. Read with an open heart and show your pastor and his family how much you appreciate them for all they do for your church family.
Support your Pastor!
Several years ago, I approached my former pastor and issued an apology. This man was my pastor when I received Christ as Savior and baptized me. He faithfully preached the Bible, pastored the church, attended night classes at Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute, worked on a job during the day, and continued to be a faithful husband and Dad. The reason for the apology I gave was the fact that after being in the ministry for a few years, I realized that I could have been a much better church member! In all that this pastor did, balancing his church, family, and career, I still found things to whine and complain about. Personally, I failed to realize how much was on him. Instead of looking for things to whine and complain about, I should have been praying, helping, and supporting him more. In other words, when God called me to pastor and preach I began to understand through experience what a pastor faces every day in the ministry. Unless you are a pastor, you cannot understand the day to day challenges one faces.
The most important thing to do for your pastor is to pray for him. A faithful pastor who has been called of God comes under constant assaults from the Devil. Being the one who is responsible for breaking the Bread of Life to the disciples of Christ brings him in the crosshairs of the evil one. Any pastor who states the ministry has no battles may not be doing what he needs to be doing. There is a constant every day spiritual battle that faithful pastors go through to minister to the congregations and communities in which God has placed them. When a man answers the call to preach the Gospel he instantly steps onto the spiritual battlefield. To carry such an important responsibility places him as a target for the forces of Satan. This constant spiritual battle can take its toil on the man of God. What I’m saying is your pastor needs your help!!! Pray for him every single day and if possible several times a day! As he is praying himself he needs to feel the prayers and support of those he is trying to minister to. Pray for God’s strength to sustain him. Pray for God’s wisdom to guide him. Pray that the Holy Spirit will anoint him as he studies and preaches the Scriptures. Pray for protection from the onslaughts of the Devil. Your pastor, if he is doing what he should be doing, is constantly praying and thinking of the messages from the Bible that will help the people to whom he will be preaching. He needs the prayers of God’s people to help him as he prepares. If you believe his preaching needs to be deeper and improve start praying and stop complaining. It will help much more to pray for him than to complain to him!
Next, be understanding. Don’t just assume that your pastor only works on Sundays and Wednesdays. A pastor is never off duty. Even when he is at home with his family, he is on call. A pastor can expect phone calls at any time. There is no time card which he will punch to say the work day is over. For the most part, many people will go to work and leave that job at a certain time. This is not so for the faithful pastor. At all times and in all places, he will be called upon to fulfill his calling as a pastor. He can be called away from his family during supper or in the middle of the night. In the grocery store, at the ballgame, walking down the street, eating in the restaurant, wherever he is at, he is still on duty as a pastor. The responsibility he has is not a career but a calling of God. Whenever he is called upon, wherever he is at, he cannot say, “I’m not on duty”, but must faithfully answer the call when it comes. Don’t expect a pastor to have to be there for every little thing. If you genuinely need him, let him know, but don’t expect him to have to come every time you stump your toe! Understand that he sometimes will have to place priority on certain things and cannot be in more than one place at a time. He must take time to study God’s word and bring a message, for that is his most important responsibility as a Pastor. Be understanding that he is a husband and father and must have time and opportunity, just like you, to fulfill those responsibilities also. He must first pastor his family before he can be a pastor to you. My wife knows me as Chris first, not Preacher Chris. My boys know me simply as “Daddy”. If your pastor also works on a public job, think of how much more pressure is placed on him to try and balance his responsibilities to his family and church. Be understanding and allow him to be a family man. He will be a better pastor to your family if he has time to be with his family.
Be a blessing and not a burden. Be an encourager and not a discourager. Often, the only time some church members speak to their pastor or want a visit, is to bring a complaint to him about something that will make no difference in eternity. Now its one thing if he is denying the resurrection of Christ, but it is another thing if he didn’t have time to visit your second cousin twice removed who you should have already visited! Let your pastor know you love and support him. Let him know you are praying for him. Be faithful to worship services and serve in, not just sit in, your church. It is very encouraging to a pastor to see people who are hungry for God’s word and choose to be there to be fed spiritually. Your pastor will be a better pastor and your church will be a better church to the glory of God if you work to help and not hinder. Always strive to be one who is willing to help carry the burden with your pastor so the entire body of Christ will prosper in the work of God’s Kingdom. I challenge you, after reading this article, to go to your pastor and ask him what you can do to help. After he wakes up from passing out (Ha! Ha!), help him as your church worships and serves the Lord.
Get together with the leaders of your church and do something to show your appreciation for all that your pastor and his family does to serve you and your church family.
Hebrew 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, (your spiritual leaders) who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, (imitate their faith) considering the end of their conversation (way of life). Parenthesis mine.