I seem to run across a bevy of articles and blog posts on the subject of how church members can encourage or be kind to their pastor/pastors. I never see any on how a pastor can encourage his people. Here’s my nobody attempt at writing one-in no particular order-12 ways a pastor can encourage his sheep:
1. Don’t look down on him because he doesn’t know Greek or hasn’t gone to seminary.
2. Believe that he has the same amount of Holy Spirit as you do.
3. Ask questions that reveal his heart and really listen to him.
4. Don’t assume that he has more time and is less busy than you.
5. Be thankful for him, the way God has gifted him, and his service to you and the flock of God. Tell him you are thankful and why.
6. Inform him-don’t just keep your staff and elders informed of what is going on in the church. Inform him and value his opinion.
7. Ask and listen to what he thinks about strengths and weaknesses of the church and strengths and weaknesses of the leadership of the church.
8. When he comes to you with a concern about the church or your leadership-don’t react defensively and take what he’s said personally.
9. Call him, text him, email him, invite him out or over for a meal-reach out and make an effort to have a personal relationship.
10. Be willing to disciple, equip and train him-even if he doesn’t have a seminary degree or other formal education beyond high school. Even if he’s someone who has a ‘colorful’ past and doesn’t fit the typical pastor/church leader stereotype.
11. Don’t assume that his secular job is easier and less stressful than your job as a pastor. He may not be burdened with the care of souls for an entire church body but he is likely burdened with the care of souls of those in his small group, his family and friends. Add to that the difficulty of being a devoted Christian in a secular world. Something you may have forgotten or not know much about.
12. Trust him. Equip him and then trust him with the work of the ministry. Trust God and him–even if it ends in seeming ‘failure’.
I’m sure I’ve missed some. Do you have any to add to this list?