3 practical ways to encourage your pastor

September 11, 2020

Pastors are quitting today for many reasons.

Pastors, as a whole, can be a troubled lot. Unfortunately it comes with the territory. But much of the remedy would come if somebody would simply offer them some genuine encouragement.

To encourage means “to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope, or to spur on” — a very powerful antidote to an increasingly troubled world.

Smartphone technology has created a self-absorbed world, one where we have a hard time seeing beyond the end of our arms. Even if we did ask people to encourage someone they would say, “When would I have the time?” But that’s a weak excuse. You have all the time you need.

The Apostle Paul was so serious about encouraging people that his letters usually focused on encouraging someone or trying to get others to encourage someone. For example, he writes, “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). He knew encouragement builds up. Way up.

Pastors need this more than anyone I know. Most pastors give and give and give until they are exhausted, stressed and burned out. It’s not hard to see why we have so many dropouts and failures in the ministry. And COVID-19 has only added to the stress.

The Apostle Paul was so serious about encouraging people that his letters usually focused on encouraging someone or trying to get others to encourage someone.

The church I served the longest did things that encouraged me, often just when I felt like quitting — but they never knew that. Here are some things that really encouraged me. Consider one or more of these suggestions to encourage your pastor.

Write your pastor a personal note.
Not type a personal note, or email a personal note, but write a personal note. Writing letters and personal notes is a lost art. But it’s far more powerful than anything electronic. Honestly, of all the things people have done to encourage me, this has been the greatest. I’ve kept many of these notes and read and reread them. Recently, after leading a funeral for an elderly man, the family wrote me a note and said, “Even though it’s been a long time since you served at our church, you’ll always be our pastor.” How powerful was that! I read it all the time.

Give your pastor a break.
Every pastor needs regular breaks from his responsibilities to rest, relax and recover. Find out his favorite place, like the beach or mountains, and send him there, all expenses paid. October is Pastor Appreciation Month, so you have a great built-in opportunity. And if your church is struggling financially, ask a few other couples to go in with you and pick up the tab. He and his wife will be shocked, and they will never forget your kindness. And if you own a cabin or beach house, loan it to him for the week. One family did this for us many times. It was a lifesaver.

Give your pastor a gift.
This should be a real gift — a gift that he would want — not the one you would like to give him. But you’ve got to know him to know what it is. Listen to him speak, and you will get some clues. I was speaking at a conference once and made a joke about my golf bag that had a hole in it. At the end of the two-day event, one of the attendees came up and presented me with a brand new golf bag. I had just met them the day before. Are you kidding me? Greatest retreat ever!

Consider your pastor. Pray for him and follow his leadership, but go a step further and really encourage him. It will build him up. Way up.

by Eddie Thompson  /  Pastoral Ministries  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Your generosity demonstrates being on mission together

I am blown away by the generosity of North Carolina Baptists. It’s amazing to see what God does and how He moves when independent, autonomous local churches come together for the shared mission of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. This is what it means to be on mission...

Will the Supreme Court affirm the sanctity of life? Here are 5 specific ways you can pray

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this week for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that has the potential to reshape the legal landscape surrounding abortion. It’s a key moment that could lead to more protections for preborn humans made in the image...

How to handle holiday stress without stressing out

Family. Just the word brings so many comforting and positive thoughts to mind: love, support, fellowship, unity, bond and closeness. Although family means all these things, there are some difficult words that come to mind as well: conflict, loss, hurt, disagreements and...

12 ways to build thanksgiving into your life

We have so much for which to be grateful today. I fear, though, that we too often limit our expressions of thanksgiving to only this day. Because the Apostle Paul tells us to “give thanks in everything” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), we need to practice thanksgiving. Here are some...

NC Baptists address sexual abuse at annual meeting

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) leaders took proactive steps to help churches prevent sexual abuse and care well for survivors during its recent annual meeting, which drew 1,150 messengers to the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro on Nov. 8-9....

NC Baptists celebrate being ‘On Mission Together’

GREENSBORO, N.C. — With an emphasis on the gospel and the Great Commission, North Carolina Baptists rallied around the theme of being “On Mission Together” during their 191st annual meeting, held Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 8-9 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center. The event drew 1,150 messengers...

2021 Annual Meeting: Day 2 highlights

More than 1,100 messengers from Baptist churches from across North Carolina gathered at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 8-9 for the 191st Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) annual meeting. The theme of this...

Unzicker outlines Revelation 5 vision for NC Baptists

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- North Carolina Baptists must be people marked by gospel unity and evangelistic fervor, state executive Todd Unzicker declared to messengers attending the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) annual meeting on Monday, Nov. 8 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!