By Andrew Calabrese
For those of us who are not senior pastors, we cannot fully understand the burdens that they face on a daily basis. While being in ministry is no doubt the most rewarding life one can live, it has also proven to be the most difficult one too. There is an immense need for God’s people to have a greater burden to refresh their pastor. According to 1 Timothy 5:17, each church member has the privilege and responisbility to be a blessing to his pastor: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”
Considering this, I began to think of some practical ways that we could refresh this man we call “pastor.” Here are a few ideas:
1. Be Faithful
Being faithful to the church is one of the greatest ways you can be a blessing to your pastor. Can your pastor count on you to always being at church, to always be in your place, and to always be involved in the work that needs to be done? If so, you are refreshing to him. The Bibles says in Proverbs 25:13, “As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.”
2. Respond to his preaching and teaching
I can guarantee you that your pastor will not get discouraged if you say “amen” while he is preaching. For you to respond to his preaching will always be an encouragement to him.
3. Pray for your pastor
A pastor receives more spiritual attacks than any other follower of Christ because of his position. You ought to pray for him every day, if not, every week! Pray for his walk with the Lord to thrive, his marriage to flourish, his parenting to honor God, and for God’s wisdom to be given to him as he leads the church. Paul requested this of the Thessalonian Church in 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2: “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.” It is harder to be critical toward someone [your pastor], if you are praying for God’s blessings to be placed on their life.
4. Write him an encouraging note
I think we are beginning to lose this practice in the twenty-first century, but a note is one tangible way that you can express your love for your pastor. He can hold onto it, refer back to it, and continually be encouraged and refreshed by it.
5. Follow him as he follows Christ
The Bible emphatically encourages submission to pastoral authority. It would be a healthy practice to often tell your pastor that you are with him, and that you will stand behind him, as he is following the Lord.
6. Respect him (both publicly and privately)
The man of God ought to be treated with respect and honor. You can express your respect to him by addressing him as “pastor” rather than by his first name or his nickname. Esteem him highly; it’s biblical! “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake…” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
7. Don’t expect him to be perfect
He is a human too. A man of God has the same human tendencies that we all have, and his family does too. Let his spouse be herself, and allow his children to have time to grow. They aren’t perfect. Just love him and his family for who they are.
8. Be loyal to your pastor
Stand with your pastor through his tests and trials. Be a genuine friend, not just a fair-weathered buddy. A real friend will stand with their pastor regardless of the circumstances, and will be behind him even when he makes unpopular decisions.
Your pastor could use a good dose of refreshment, and guess what? You could be the one to give it to him! It doesn’t require talent on your end, popularity, personality, or anything like that. You just have to be willing to go out of your way to be a blessing to your pastor. Will you determine to refresh your pastor in some way this week?