"Obey your leaders and submit to them,
for they are keeping
watch over your souls,
as those who will have to give an account.
do this with joy and not with groaning,
for that would be of no advantage to
On June 13, 2005, I wrote the following e-mail and sent it to about
50 blogging pastors:
I’m writing to you and other blogging pastors because I have a question only
a pastor can answer. I’ve been growing increasingly aware of how difficult
the job of pastor can be. I know that pastors often receive a lot more criticism
than encouragement, and that can lead to all sorts of bad feelings. I think,
though, that most congregations truly love their pastors but don’t understand
how much encouragement is needed or how to practically provide that encouragement.
I also think that pastors are generally and understandably reluctant to ask
such encouragement or display any human weakness at all.
I personally love my
pastor, and I’m keenly aware of many things that beat him down in his ministry.
Most of those things are entirely out of my control
influence. I would like to provide encouragement to him myself and incite others
to do so as well. But I know enough to know that I have no idea exactly what
issues a pastor faces that members of the congregation could alleviate. I just
don’t know what to do or how to go about providing the most effective encouragement
My request to you is that you respond with a blog post (or a link to
a post if you’ve already written one) listing some practical ways a congregation
their pastor. If you’re reticent about revealing that sort of thing on your
own blog, I would be happy to post something you write on my blog and remove
name from it–sort of an "advice from an anonymous pastor" kind
of thing. I really want to know this, and I want the flock to stop being
of their shepherd’s humanity and needs.
If you decide to write a post about
this, please let me know so I can read it and link to it.
The Happy Husband
Being a Godly pastor must
be the most difficult job in the world. CEOs of corporations must weather attacks
from competitors, and leaders of countries must deal with other countries’
leaders as well as politicians within their own countries, but pastors have
to protect themselves, their families, and their churches from attacks by Satan
himself. The fact that so many pastors get little love and support from their
congregations goes a long way toward explaining why so many pastors resign
I’m collecting all the responses I get on this page. Please check out these
links and see how you can serve
Bogert: "To me, the greatest encouragement in ministry takes
place when people connect with what I am preaching or teaching. Seeing
a group of people who are interested, alert, attentive—these things
are what encourage a pastor the most.…That being said, here are a few
tangible and non-tangible ways to encourage.…"
Bolsinger: "If you ask any of my executive staff, they
will tell you of how many people have come along side them, joined them
and cared for them personally. And it is my confidence in this community
of people that allows me to promise my staff that together we will all
aim to have ‘a great ministry and a great life.…‘
Buzbee: "Churches can be like middle school. Or like playgrounds
beset by a handful of bullies. It only takes one or two kids on the playground
to stand up to the bullies and say ‘Stop! No more!’ God just may be calling
you to be one of those kids to stand up and speak out; but while it is
scary to defy a bully in your congregation (and even a best friend could
be one) if you don’t, then who will?…"
Dollar: "I do not want to come across as moaning about how
neglected the pastor is. But I do understand that pastors need encouragement,
too. And the more a pastor is encouraged, given that he is laboring for
the glory of God and not self, the better he will carry out his duties.…"
Harvey: "1) Be a friend to your pastor. 2) Ask me how I’m
doing sometime. 3) 3. Once in awhile, tell me how something I’ve
done has made a difference.…"
- Noel Heikkinen: "For
me, [this question] takes more the form of ‘Things I Wish People Knew.’ I
think if these things were realized, more encouragement could happen organically. …"
McElroy: "For me, the no-agenda, our-treat, we-just-want-to-hang-out-doing-what-you-like
dinner and a ball game was the best. I think too many pastors simply don’t
part 2: "I said, "Be a friend". Now, Curt wants
to know: how?…"
part 3: "Forget it’s the pastor, is this someone you would invite
for coffee? Or, to play golf? Or, to just ‘hang out’? If yes, then pursue that
friendship like any other.…"
Morley: "If you want to connect with your pastor, the overarching
idea is don’t put demands on him. Instead, help him accomplish his mission.
In that way, you will be part of his ministry instead of the object of
Pedersen: "My Pastors’ Prayer Group met today on a 30 foot sailboat.…I
asked the guys a question to start off our conversation: How can a congregation
encourage their pastor? The guys on the boat responded with these ideas…"
Russ: "Your pastor loves you. He cares about you. He
prays for you. He works hard for you. Reciprocate those things and you
will find that even as he ministers to you, that you are ministering
Van Der Hurst: "What has my church done to encourage me? I have
shared this with several pastor friends and have had a blogger ask for
to encourage his pastor. So, here is my experience/feeble attempt at talking
about a time OUT.…"
Wayne (aka Jollyblogger): "1. Take your own spiritual growth seriously.
2. Give your best to the church, not your leftovers. 3. Remind him that you
are for him.…"
Williams: "Begin here, trust and respect, until we prove untrustworthy
I will share more responses as they come in. If you’re
a pastor who doesn’t blog or I didn’t include in my e-mail, please feel
free to send me
an email at happy-at-atimelikethis-dot-net so that I can include your
response here as well.