How to Encourage Your Pastor
How can you encourage your pastor? Be his Elliot.
In the classic film E.T., a boy named Elliot befriends an abandoned alien. Spoiler alert: Eventually, E.T. gets sick and begins to die. The plot twist is that Elliot gets sick as well. Elliot's life was in E.T.'s life.
Pastors have a deep connection to their congregation. It's like E.T. and Elliot. A pastor's emotions are tied to the congregation's fluctuations.
There was a guy in our congregation who would often say to me, "Don't take it personally." Bro. It's always personal to pastors.
It was personal to Paul. Notice how Paul responds to the report. It's E.T. and Elliot.
For this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord.1 Thess. 3:7-8
Here are three ways you can encourage your pastor.
Prayerfulness (1 Thess. 3:9-10)
In Paul's response, we see a partnership in prayer. Your pastor prays for you. Do you pray for him and for his family? Be your pastor's prayer partner.
But be aware. Prayer is not prying. It's not a veiled way to gather gossip or glean inside information. "Pastor, we need to pray. I heard that . . ." That's not encouraging to your pastor. That hastens his heart attack.
Prayer is a petition with thanksgiving. Paul gave thanks for the report and prayed "earnestly night and day" to see them again.
Your pastor prays for you. Pray for him with petition and thanksgiving.
Eagerness (1 Thess. 3:10)
Somehow October has become Pastor Appreciation Month. Someone asked my wife, "What could we do that would really encourage Brian?" Shannon replied, "Fill the church up. Just be there."
Paul wanted to see the people "face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith (3:10)." He desired to take the Word of God and build them up.
There is nothing more deflating to a pastor than empty seats after a full study. He is eager to preach, but people are full of excuses. He is ready; the people are AWOL.
Encourage your pastor by being eager to receive what God has prepared him to preach.
Holiness (1 Thess. 3:13-4:8)
On Sunday morning, someone complains that the bathrooms are not clean, but what they fail to see is that the people in the pews are filthy. Your pastor is far less concerned about the bathroom than he is about your behavior.
Paul pressed his people toward holiness and urged them to "walk and to please God (4:1)." "For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness (4:7)."
You thought the music was too loud and the sermon too long. Your pastor wants you to think more about holy living.
You are concerned about the temperature in the sanctuary. Your pastor is challenging the sanctification of your soul.
If you want to encourage him, leave the thermostat alone and listen.
If you want to encourage your pastor, pray for him, listen to him, and live for God!
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.
- What are the commands in this passage?
- List the promises in the passage.
- What are some principles you need to apply from this passage?
Pray for your pastor today with petition (asking God for things) and thanksgiving (thanking God for things). Be at church this Sunday with your Bible and some paper to take notes from your pastor's sermon. Engage in the message. Your pastor will notice your effort and it will encourage him.