Did you know that along with breast cancer awareness, Columbus day, and halloween.
October is also Pastor Appreciation month.
This time of the year is very near and dear to my heart because my parents are Pastors and have been in ministry for 12 years.
As their daughter I have witnessed first had the time, effort, sacrifice and struggles that my parents have had to go through as they continue to fulfill the call that God has placed on their lives.
What is Pastor?
According to the KJV Dictionary a Pastor is:
1. A shepherd; one that has the care of flocks and herds.
2. A minister of the gospel who has the charge of a church and congregation, whose duty is to watch over the people of his charge, and instruct them in the sacred doctrines of the christian religion. (KJV Dictionary)
In plain English a Pastor is the leader of the church who is ordained by God to watch over, care for, and instruction the people that God has put in their care.
I emphasize ordained by God because there are many people who are pastors, but have not been called to that office. (But that’s another topic)
Your Pastor has a great calling and a great burden to bear because he is tasked with caring for God’s people and will be held responsible for leading God’s people astray.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you. (Heb 13:17, emphasis mine)
Can you imagine being held personally responsible for the souls of the people that attend your church?!
Talk about pressure!
In todays post I’m going to share with you 7 ways church members can support their pastors.
1. Participate in Service
45% of Pastors spend 10-15 hours a week preparing for a sermon, while 25 % spend 15 to 20 hours preparing (churchleadership.org,2016).
This is just amount of time that they spend preparing for Sunday service.
Most churches have a Sunday service and a mid-week service, which means that the pastor has to prepare two sermons each week.
When you add in the mid-week service most Pastors are probably spending closer to 20 hours a week preparing for service.
This study also reported that many Pastors struggle to create quality and meaningful sermons every week.
As minister I can relate to the amount of time that it takes to prepare a meaningful sermon that will have an impact on the congregation and spark change in their lives.
I get stressed out thinking about it and I only have to preach 3 times a year!
So, the next time your Pastor is up to speak show a little enthusiasm.
Nod, smile, say Amen, shout Hallelujah.
Let them know that you hear what they’re saying.
They have worked hard to prepare a message just for you.
2. Get Involved
For some reason getting people to volunteer for things in church is like pulling teeth.
I would say that this is a small church, problem but their are plenty of large churches that have the same people volunteering for children’s church or to usher each Sunday.
However, your Pastor needs your help to reach the vision that God has given him for your ministry.
Which means that he needs you to get involved in the ministry and lend a helping hand.
In addition to that most pastors (54%) work 55 hours or more a week in ministry.
According to the research 54% of pastors are overworked and 43 % are overstressed.
Having church members that are ready,willing, and reliable can help a great deal in relieving the amount stress that your Pastor has to deal with on a daily basis.
3. Give Your Tithes and Offering
I can feel the eye rolls coming.
For some reason there are many people that feel like giving their money to the church is wrong because they feel that the pastor is going to take it and squander it on nonsense.
Yet, we will spend $200 to go see Beyonce perform on stage and we know that that money is going to support her lifestyle and it’s ok.
Or we’ll go to the salon and get our nails and hair done every week (roughly $50-75 or $200/month) and that’s ok.
So why when it comes to paying our tithes and offering are we so stingy?
Despite what you may think most pastors are not con artist and a majority of the money they get goes back into the ministry.
According to the research finding 57% of Pastors can’t pay their bills.
Which usually means that they have to work a full time job as well as perform their pastoral duties.
So not only are they working 40hrs a week at a job, they’re putting in 10-20 hours preparing for a sermon each sunday, plus going to visit the sick, answering phone calls and text message from members in need, and trying to meet the needs of their own families.
4. Encourage Your Pastor
34% of Pastors battle discouragement on a regular basis and 35 % battle a fear on inadequacy (2016).
In previous studies, this number was higher, but thanks studies like the one I’ve been citing more church members have become more aware of the issues that their leaders face.
Every body likes to be encouraged.
Especially, by the people that they so loving server each and every week.
Write your pastor and encouraging note letting them know how much you appreciate them and what they do.
Call them just to check on them and see how they’re doing.
If something in the sermon really resonated with you let them know.
A Kind word goes a long way.
5. Remember They Are Human
65% of pastors feel their family is in a “glass house” and fear they are not good enough to meet expectations (2016).
One of the things that I was grateful for was that I was an adult when my parents decided to go into ministry.
But even as an adult I can still feel the pressure from the members of the congregation to be “perfect”.
While some of you may think that I’m exaggerating research shows that 66% of church members expect a minister and family to live at a higher moral standard than themselves(pastoralcare.com)!
Your pastor is not perfect.
His family is not perfect.
They are human beings that have their own struggles and shortcomings just like the rest of us.
If your pastor doesn’t speak to you or is short with you don’t get offended and leave the church.
Perhaps they were having a bad day or they just didn’t see you.
Remember church hurt doesn’t just happen to the congregation it happens to pastors too.
6. Give Your Pastor a Beak
78% of pastors report having their vacation and personal time interrupted with ministry duties or expectations (pastoralcare.com).
65% feel that they have not taken enough vacation time with their family over the last 5 years(pastoralcare.com).
One year for Pastor Appreciation month the members of the congregation pitched in money to buy our pastors a weekend gateway at a local resort.
Out of all of the gifts that we have given them over the years I believe that they enjoyed this one the most.
Members of the congregation were instructed not to bother them and to direct all issues and problems to the ministers or deacons while they were away.
It was just a time for them to getaway and relax.
7. Pray for Your Pastor
In my previous post I talked about 10 things that all Christians should pray for your church leader was on of them.
In light of the statics that I’ve shared with you today I’m sure you can understand why they need our prayers.
If you need a few pointers on what to pray for you can start with these:
- Passion for God’s people
- Wisdom to lead God’s people
- Servants heart
- Friends that they can rely on (58% of pastors feel that they do not have any true good friends(churchleadership.org,2019)).
- Joy in ministry
Being a pastor is not an easy job it takes a lot of self sacrifice and humility.
Despite the statistics that I’ve shared with you today 90% of pastors feel honored to have been called to serve in the ministry and 78% said that if they had to do it over again they would choose to be a pastor (Soulshepherding.org, 2016).
Pastor appreciation day is officially October 13,2019.
Please show your pastor some love on pastor appreciation day and every day.
Now it’s your turn.
What statistics were shocking to you? How do you plan to support your pastor?
Until next time,
Want to know more about supporting your pastor? Check out these books.