October is Clergy Appreciation Month. I am blessed to have had a series of wonderful pastors. Each one deposited Biblical truth and practical strategies into my life to enhance my walk with the Lord and challenge me to be a better disciple.
So thank you…EC McKinley, Rick Lee, Billy Wilson, Tim Coalter, Steve Wilson, and Brian Sutton for you faithful ministry to me throughout the years.
For two wonderful years I served under Pastor Tim Coalter as Associate Pastor, as well as Children’s Pastor for a period of time. It was during this time that I identified a few things I could do to support my pastor and believe that these ideas translate to us all whether we serve in full-time, part-time, or volunteer ministry under our senior pastor.
1.) Pray for your pastor. One of the greatest ways to support your leader is to lift him or her up in prayer daily. Pray for his health, for his family, for his ministry, for his sermon preparations, and pray for any struggles or challenges within the church. Ask the Father to reveal ways you can serve your pastor and to provide you with opportunities to serve him.
2.) Encourage your pastor and his family. Find ways to encourage your pastor. Send him e-mails of encouragement. Mail a card or post a Facebook comment letting him know when he has lifted you or challenged you with his sermon. Bless his spouse and children. Find ways to express your appreciation to them as well.
3.) Serve your pastor. Look for ways to serve your pastor, both inside and outside of the church. Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest impact. Perhaps you can insure that your pastor’s microphone, Bible, or notes are in place on Sunday mornings. Occasionally offer to go on visitation for your pastor. If you cannot think of ways to serve your pastor, ask him in what ways you can assist him.
4.) Make your pastor’s projects your projects. As the leader of your church, your pastor often has multiple ideas or projects for your church. When your pastor expresses these, come alongside him to complete them. Ask if there are ways you can be involved. If you lead a ministry, find ways for your ministry to support these efforts. You can either help or hinder the vision of your pastor by the way you steer your ministry efforts.
5.) Be accountable to your pastor. Consider this: often your pastor has no idea what exactly is going on in your ministry. For me, the pastor would have no way of knowing what was going on during our simultaneous Sunday morning children’s church service when he was ministering in the pulpit at the same time. Send your pastor a regular report of your ministry happenings. Let him know about past events, future events, themes, and praise reports of what is happening in your ministry.
6.) Be honest with your pastor. When there are problems in your ministry, let your pastor know, first. Don’t hide, run away, or sugarcoat the facts. Let him know the facts of what is going on. If you can think of solutions or action steps to help resolve issues, bring those to him as well. Never let your pastor be blindsided by an issue in your ministry. This will help establish trust with your leader and often times move the problem along to resolution.
7.) Be loyal to your pastor. It is imperative that you be loyal to your pastor. Once I spoke to my pastor concerning a difficult situation in our church. I did not agree with some of his actions but I promised him my loyalty as a leading voice in the church when I said, “Pastor, I make this promise to you. If I can support you in these actions, I will be your biggest cheerleader. However, if I cannot support you, I will let you know and keep my silence with others.” It can often been challenging to maintain our silence when we disagree with our leader. However, biblically handling disagreement with our leader is no different than with others.