Debra Young of the Pastor’s Retreat Network asked me to post this. I’m adding my comments along the way.
12 Ways to Appreciate Your Pastor
When we look at our pastor or minister what do we see?Â A spiritual giant?Â Someone who can go it alone?Â Someone who works a day and a half a week?Â A servant of the congregation? Someone who does it all?Â
The truth is that clergy are real people with real families, dreams, needs, desires and gifts.Â And like all of us, they shine best in situations where they are appreciated and supported.Â Here are a dozen ways you can bring out the best in your pastor:
- Write a note of appreciation.
[I get notes every now and then. More frequently, I get positive verbal comments.
- Pray for your pastor regularly. [I really need this. Pray lots and lots for me. Pray for me to be able to connect with God for the sake of my people. Pray for my wisdom as I preach, teach, lead & relate to people. Pray that I might live a life that attracts people to Jesus. Pray for my wife & kids.]
- Stop the rumor mill. [I hear every now and then that people are saying something. The best thing to do is to come to me. I confess that I won’t always think that the issues you think are of burning importance are of burning importance. There’s an awful lot I don’t have a strong opinion about. But as fellow Christians it’s good for us to talk about stuff anyway.]
- Invite him or her out to lunch, golfing, or some other shared interest, without an agenda. [This sounds fun. I haven’t golfed in over 20 years & have no clubs. But other stuff is worth a try.]
- Offer to babysit the kids so pastor and spouse can have an evening together, even better, offer them a gift certificate to a restaurant they enjoy. [Even, do both. With the combination of my schedule and my wife’s schedule and the kids’ schedules, we don’t get out of an evening more than a few times a year. Our relatives all live far away, so there’s no help there. We’ve been blessed by several in the church who’ve helped in this way.]
- Honor his or her day off â€“ allow time for rest, personal renewal and family time. [My folks are usually pretty good about this.]
- In times of loss, offer sympathy, care and practical help. [My folks are good at this.]
- Consider holidays and other family days â€“ if the pastor is far from their family of origin, invite them to your celebration â€“ no strings attached. [I sure wish we had more secular holidays!]
- Ask him or her how you can help and then follow through. [Yeah!]
- Tell him or her what youâ€™ve learned from their sermon. [This is much better than the ubiquitous “good sermon.”]
- Go to http://parsonage.org/cam/index.cfm for ideas on how to celebrate your minister duringÂ Pastor Appreciation Month.
- Consider a sabbatical time for your pastor and find a way to provide one as needed. [I hear this and think, “Dream on.”]
Pastors Retreat Network provides pastors and their spouses with a five-day, self-directed retreat experience that is free of charge.Â It is a time to rest, spiritually renew, and reconnect with God and spouse.Â Consider how an experience like this might benefit your minister.Â For more information, pleaseÂ visit our Web site — www.pastorsretreatnetwork.com
Thank you for your affirming and helpful responses to the 12 Ways. And I pray that a spiritual retreat for you and your wife is more than a dream… Blessings to you as your serve and walk with Christ.