Pastors spend their lives serving others. When you serve your pastor out of love and gratitude, you strengthen him to continue to do the work God has called him to do. Supporting your pastor causes God's love to flow in a circle that ultimately blesses many people.


Here are some ways you can encourage and help your pastor:

  • Realize that your pastor is human. He has the same needs that you have, and, while He takes his faith seriously, he's not perfect. Don't be afraid to approach your pastor and interact with him as naturally as you would anyone else.


  • Regularly pray for your pastor, asking the Holy Spirit to continually give Him wisdom and strength to stay close to Christ and serve faithfully and effectively.


  • Respect the privacy of your pastor's family by not dropping by unannounced or calling during the middle of the night unless there's a crisis.


  • Give your pastor opportunities to seek help for his struggles outside of the context of his own church. Give him access to counseling, let him take a retreat, or provide financial help if he needs it.


  • When he experiences a crisis, ask how you can most effectively support him and his family - perhaps through babysitting, bringing meals to their home, etc.


  • Celebrate with your pastor when he experiences good times, such as the birth of a child or some other positive event.


  • Commit to live at peace with your pastor and let love and respect rule in your conversations with him. If you disagree with him, arrange to meet with him face to face to discuss the issue, and pray that the Lord will infuse His wisdom into the situation to resolve it well.


  • Write your pastor encouraging notes, either through e-mail or "snail mail." The notes don't necessarily have to be long or even spiritual in nature.


  • Invite your pastor and his family to a meal in your home. Don't be concerned about trying to impress your pastor with a gourmet meal or spotless home; he won't expect that and will likely be very grateful for any type of hospitality you can offer.


  • Make sure you have good motives when talking with your pastor, and use words that encourage him rather than words that deplete his energy and will to serve.


  • Think about whether it's the right time to approach your pastor about something, and if not, wait for a time during which he can give the matter his full attention. For example, pastors usually talk with many people right after worship services and may be too busy at those times to have long conversations or remember to schedule a particular event. It might be better to wait until a weekday to call the pastor in his office.


  • Let your pastor know when he has blessed you, and thank him for doing so.


Adapted from Caring for Your Pastor: Helping God's Servant to Minister with Joy, copyright 2001 by Lorna Dobson. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.kregel.com, 1-800-733-2607.

Lorna Dobson serves alongside her husband, Ed Dobson, at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. She is the mother of three children and has one granddaughter. She is also a frequent writer for local women's publications.

What do you appreciate most about your pastor? What are some ways you have supported your pastor, and how has that blessed him? Visit Live It's forum to discuss, respond, or read what others have to say. Just click on the link below.