This may seem presumptious as a pastor writing about ways to bless your pastor. Self-serving much? But I honestly think that it may be of benefit to the few who read my blog who do not attend ReCAST church to hear from a pastor what is a regular blessing and encouragement to me.
1. Tell Him Something Specific You Have Learned
The phrase “good sermon” is a pretty nebulous comment. Don’t get me wrong. It is much better than an immediate correction on a nuance that I mentioned that was a little off. But if God has spoken to you in any way through your pastor, let him know what you are learning. I’m am often encouraged to hear that something I said that seemed relatively insignificant has been used by God to help someone else in their journey. Pastors want to help. And hearing that we are helping is encouraging.
2. Develop Relationships With Others in Your Church
I cannot tell you how encouraging it is to my heart to see people in my congregation meeting together, eating together, helping each other, praying for and with each other, and serving one another. The connection of the body of Christ is a great thing, and when it is going well, it is very encouraging.
3. Commit to Resolving Conflict
When people are together, conflict will arise. Any church has a number of people who rub each other the wrong way. It is disheartening to a Pastor when things fester and build over time, sometimes under the surface. Jesus gives instructions in Matthew 18 for the gathering of his people regarding conflict resolution. Be committed to working through issues with your brothers and sisters in Christ in a Biblical way, and your Pastor will be greatly blessed by his people working through issues.
4. Use Your Gift to Serve the Church
Everyone has a role to play. The apostle Paul likened the church to a human body, with arms, ears, eyes, and various parts. And just as the parts of the body have distinct roles united under a common purpose, so do members of the church. It can be a tentative thing to ask people to volunteer and step up in the church depending on the personality of the pastor. When people actively seek out the role that God is calling them to within the local church, a pastor’s heart will soar. There are people who come to mind even as I write this, who have been a great encouragement to me in their service, and although I have thanked them often, they probably do not realize how important that encouragement has been to me in ministry.
5. Come to Church Awake
Imagine that you are having a conversation with a friend and he keeps nodding off. No really, imagine it. There you sit, sharing what God has placed on your heart and his eyes roll back in his head as he struggles and fights to keep his head supported by his weakening neck muscles. You see him surrender for a moment only to revive himself and pretend he is listening. I know preaching is different, and the real blame could be pointed back at the preacher for being boring. But as dynamic as I try to be, I still find people routinely nodding and it is discouraging. I would rather have people there getting what they can between naps, but I would prefer to have them awake. There are some by the way that I understand have circumstances like working the night before that still make an effort to attend after a shift. I am glad they come and take in what they can. Others have told me that they have medications that make them drowsy and they are trying their best. But the fact that they let me know these things is golden. Otherwise I just feel lame and discouraged when someone is struggling to listen. Eagerness for the Word of God encourages a pastor’s heart.
There are many things that encourage pastors and these are some that come to my mind. Maybe this misses the mark of what blesses your pastor. But I have a hunch that these things would be a good step toward encouraging the one given spiritual oversite of your church.