Why now is the time to encourage your pastor

October 2, 2020

Pastors and churches have faced many unique challenges in 2020. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them had to quickly learn how to take their services online and develop creative ways to minister to their members and serve their community.

Even as some churches have started to gather again, in-person attendance typically isn’t what it was before. Additionally, congregations are often divided on whether or not the church should even resume in-person gatherings at the present time. Divisions over racial, social and political issues have made a pastor’s already difficult job even more challenging.

That’s why now is the time to let your pastor know how much you love and appreciate him.

Amid the ongoing challenges and uncertainties related to the coronavirus and other issues in our land, let me urge you not to forget that October is Pastor Appreciation Month. If there was ever a time when pastors need to know how much they are appreciated, it is now.

Many pastors are tired, discouraged, stressed out, overwhelmed and burned out. And this was before COVID-19 and everything else we have had to deal with so far in 2020. Church consultant and former president of LifeWay Christian Resources Thom Rainer recently wrote that the vast majority of pastors his team consults with are considering quitting their churches. I’ve heard similar sentiments from pastors here in North Carolina.

While I believe that pastors are called and committed to their churches, remember that they are still human. Church members can view pastors as spiritual superheroes, but they experience the same struggles and emotional highs and lows as everyone else. Questions and criticisms of a pastor’s ideas and leadership can be hard for them to accept because it can seem like and feel like a sense of rejection even if a church member doesn’t intend it that way.

And often pastors have few, if any, people they can share their struggles with. So encouraging your pastor and demonstrating how much you love and appreciate him may be more important now than it ever has been.

Let me encourage you to contact your pastor and tell him how much you appreciate him. In today’s time of social distancing, isolation and quarantine, receiving an encouraging word from a familiar person will go a long way. Trust me, because I know that pastors hear the criticism, which has been amplified during our current situation. So be an encourager to your pastor.

Look for other ways you can bless your pastor and his family. Perhaps your church could give your pastor and his family some time away for rest, relaxation and replenishment. Or consider a financial or physical gift that he would really enjoy.

Eddie Thompson, who serves as our senior consultant for pastoral ministries with the state convention, recently wrote an article for our website titled, “3 practical ways to encourage your pastor.” It includes some good ideas on how individual church members or a congregation can encourage and affirm their pastor.

Finding ways to show your pastor how much you appreciate him may look a little different this year, but let me encourage you to make sure that you do so. They really need it, along with your prayers.

“Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in word and doctrine.” — 1 Timothy 5:17 (NKJV)


by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.  
/  Executive Director-Treasurer  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Statement on the release of SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force report

Todd Unzicker, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, released the following statement today (Sunday, May 22, 2022) following the release of the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force report.“Today’s release of the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force report...

3 training options to offer worship ministry certification

Worship leaders can now pursue further equipping through three training options offered in partnership between N.C. Baptists, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Fruitland Baptist Bible College. The training provides worship leaders with the understanding and tools to...

Caraway celebrates 60 years of ministry and memories

North Carolina Baptists joined forces in July 1962 to cultivate a powerful new tool to help churches reach and disciple more people — Camp Caraway. Now, decades later, the camp continues to serve N.C. Baptists and will celebrate its 60th summer this July. Situated on more than...

How leaders can bridge generational gaps in Asian American churches

Many Asian American churches provide spaces for Asian immigrants to continue worshiping similarly to how they did in their home countries. They offer a familiar community and a home away from home. What can often be overlooked, however, is the cultural gap between immigrant...

On death and dying, as it relates to churches

In 1969, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist, wrote the classic book On Death and Dying. This work, chronicling lessons she learned with terminally ill patients, outlined the five stages that all people go through as they near death. Beginning when they are...

4 symptoms to watch for when assessing pastoral health

In preparation for this article I confess I did Google, “How to know if a pastor is healthy?” The number of articles, blogs and sites addressing the increasing issue of pastoral health did not disappoint. After all, we are hopefully coming out of the most difficult time of...

Fisher retires after 36 years at Caldwell Association

Dale Fisher received quite the surprise on his 70th birthday. Not only did ministry colleagues serenade him with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” during the N.C. Associational Missions Conference in early April, they also recognized Fisher for his long tenure of service in leading...

The power of a name: God’s faithfulness in mental health

If I have learned one lesson this year, it’s that there is power in a name. When we give our struggle a name, we are able to better distinguish truth from lie and work toward healing. Naming opens the door to freedom and sheds light on truth that can feel uncomfortable, exposing...

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!