“And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jeremiah 3:15 New Living translation
I had the biggest crush on my first Pastor. His name was Reverend Mehle and every Sunday after service he stood near the exit to greet the people. As I stood in line I had the same special request. A kiss on the cheek. I suppose it was a bit precocious asking to kiss him but what does a three year old care? I wanted to express how I felt. I loved him and I wanted him to know. He graciously indulged me until I turned five. After that I settled for a grown up handshake like everyone else. Oh the innocence of childhood.
The point is I really did love my Pastor or Shepherd, as the Bible often refers to them. I think it remains an excellent practice to encourage our Pastors/Shepherds often. As part of a flock no matter the size, we sheep rarely think about what a Pastor/Shepherd manages.
“Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:12 New Living translation
What does a Pastor do?
They pray for us.
They lead us by example.
They teach, preach and interpret Scripture.
They oversee the mission of the church.
They equip us to serve.
They delegate responsibilities.
They help us see our sin.
They guard us from evil.
They encourage us.
They comfort us.
Furthermore, some may recognize things on this inexhaustive list; preparing weekly sermons, preaching and conducting worship services, collaborating with choir ministry, studying and interpreting scripture, counseling, giving spiritual support in crisis situations, visiting the sick and shut-ins, officiating at baptisms, weddings and funerals, attending meetings concerning church operating functions, evaluating congregational staff. . . the list is endless.
What you won’t see on any list of responsibilities and duties is: PLEASING EVERYONE. It cannot be done. It should not be expected. Pastors must learn this early or suffer physical ruin. We need to be understanding, loving and full of grace and not demand or expect perfection from our Pastors. Each and every one of them is made of flesh and blood just like us. Please remember that when tempted to judge them. They have an enormous number of personalities to manage if their congregation numbers more than five. Think about it.
Every Pastor is a uniquely gifted individual. In addition to teaching and preaching Scripture, each excels in different ministry areas such as counseling, visitation, music, etc., Treat them and their position with respect and appreciation.
Our Pastors may not need to be kissed by their parishioners/congregation members but they certainly do need to feel our love. Here are just a few ways to convey brotherly or sisterly love and support to your Pastor besides staying awake during their sermons.
“In the same way, the Lord ordered those who preach the Good News to be supported by those who benefit from it.”
I Corinthians 9:14 New Living translation
- Support your Pastor in prayer
- Support your Pastor with your giving financially.
- Support your Pastor with your encouragement; cards, gifts, affirming words etc.,
- Support your Pastor by guarding his reputation with grace not bashing.
If your Pastor is faithfully caring for you, do not take him for granted. Show him some love today!
Shine on. . .