Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Have You Hugged Your Pastor Lately? (How to show appreciation to your pastor.)

Have you ever stopped to think about all your pastor does for your church? 

When I was growing up, my parents would often invite our pastor and his family over for dinner. I remember as a kid how nervous I would be before the family would come. I thought I had to behave perfectly and say all the right things. However, I was surprised to see how ‘normal’ their kids were and how much fun I could have with them. It helped me to see that my pastor was a real person and could laugh and enjoy himself, along with his family. 

What can you do to let your pastors know how much you appreciate them? Your continued attendance at church is one thing, but that’s not enough. Consider all your pastor does for the church: 
1)Delivering life affirming sermons every week
2)Visiting people in the hospital
3)Performing funerals
4)Counseling members through their life issues 
5)Praying for and encouraging members through problems
6)Helping members remove the flood damaged walls of their house (I have pictures to prove that our pastor was in the midst of the cleanup after the Lafayette flooding!)
7)Tending to business needs of the church. 

I’m sure there are more, but you get my point. Pastoring is hard work.
Here are things you can do to let your pastors know how much they mean to you:

1. Invite their family over for dinner. If you are uncomfortable having them over to your house, then offer to take them out to a restaurant. Be sure you pay the cost of the meal. Make sure your kids are with you so they get to know their pastor, too.

2. Write encouraging notes/letters to them. And have your children draw pictures for them. As I was reading my Bible one day a few months ago, a scripture passage popped up that reminded me of my pastor. In the Old Testament, when Solomon became king and sent a message to Hiram, king of Tyre, for lumber and supplies, Hiram replied to Solomon: "Because the Lord loves His people, He has made you king."  My immediate thought was of my pastor. I sent him my version of the verse: "Because the Lord loves His people, He has made you their pastor." I let him know how much I appreciated him. He said it made his day. 

3. Pray for them. When my pastor is preaching, I will often pray for him as I sit in church listening. I pray for the congregation to hear what God is saying through him. When your children say their bedtime prayers, remind them to pray for their pastor.

4. Get involved in your church. If you have children, volunteer in the children’s ministry. Often that is a once-a-month commitment and you will be blessed to get to know the other children in the church. Or join a small group or other ministry in your church. You will be blessed much more than you know. 

5. Give your time and your money. Tithing is giving back to God what God has blessed you with. It enables the church to continue helping those in need. I’ve always heard “You can’t outgive God” and as long as I have lived, that statement has always held true in my life.

6. Don’t grumble about your church. No church is perfect and of course the people who attend aren’t perfect. Always speak well of your church and the members. Be a blessing to others with your positive attitude.

When I became a widow back in 2008, it was my church that came to my aid. They helped me financially, with meals, and with their love and support. As we observed the tragedy in Lafayette with all the local flooding recently, it was the churches that stepped up to help. The church is only as strong as its members. Join a church, love your pastors, get involved, and be blessed.

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