Pastors… they are a unique breed of men that have a special calling of God on their life. Not two of them are alike. Their preferences, passions, styles, and even their humanity and mistakes are all combined into one. They are not unlike any other person, just in a different position, to shepherd the sheep of God’s flock in the local church. Our pastor always says that he wants to stand before God one day and say “So & So was a good sheep.” Most pastors will say that they want to stand before God and hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
I’ve heard it said that the pastor has a heavy responsibility because unlike the man of a household having the accountability of his family, the pastor is responsible and accountable for every family in the church he pastors. What a pressure on their heart, soul, and daily living.
On top of that they have the duty to preach the entire counsel of God, whether it is popular or not. A godly pastor will labor in the Word to study, pray and allow God to work in his heart first, so he can execute his sermon with clarity. He desires to clearly present the gospel to the unsaved and feed the people of God at the same time.
Choosing to honor your pastor with gifts is a loving way to show him your appreciation to your church or your family for his service. Not every gift you can give your pastor has to cost you a dime, just demonstration of Christian character.
The Gift of Spoken Word
- A Word of Encouragement – A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Proverbs 25:11 I’m not talking about buttering your pastor up with flattery, we’re talking about real words from a righteous heart that will help him when he is discouraged. Affirm the value of the preaching He has provided and tell him specific ways in which God has spoken to you through his messages. These type of words are as much of a blessing as a beautiful painting he could hang in his office.
- A Good Report – The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat. Proverbs 15:30 Want to fatten up your pastor’s heart? Then you give him a good report about your family and the Lord’s work in your life! Don’t just rain your problems down on him, although I’m sure that he’ll listen, tell him about the good and the funny stuff too!
The Gift of Prayer
Are you willing to use your time to go to spiritual battle for your pastor and his needs?
We’re not talking about simple little prayers, we’re talking about heartfelt cries to God for:
- His protection spiritually and morally
- Wisdom for him to see the way of escape during the temptations he faces each day
- Understanding during his Bible reading and Bible study
- Ability to have discernment in spiritual matters
- Love and care for the flock God has given to Him
- Ability to preach with zeal and genuine love
- To go home and be the husband and father God has called him to rule well
Many stressors would be taken from your pastor’s shoulders if you would bow the knee and do more asking of God to help him in the serious warfare of being His disciple than a watered down “Please bless him” or “thank you for him.”
You may not agree, but I would bet (if I were the betting type, ha) that if you have been a member of your church for any length of time and maintained a communication line between you and your pastor, that he has spent some time in prayer for your spiritual needs. Go ahead and return the favor! This will be one of the greatest gifts you can ever give him.
The Gift of Public Support
- At Home – Did you know that even though you think you’re in the privacy of your own home, that you’re actually in public? Yep, each time you talk about your pastor in front of your immediate and extended family there’s a little feeling that goes into their heart about him. When you complain and gripe then a negative feeling goes into their heart. If you compliment and follow his leadership verbally then a good feeling goes into their heart. Publicly show your family that you love your pastor and he will become someone who they will learn to trust and support themselves.
- At Church – Gossip bash sessions happen every week in every service at your church. There’s always a disgruntled church member sitting somewhere in the service ready to air out their opinions. When complaints come your way nip it in the bud! Yes, your pastor has problems in his life with some type of area that deals with people, and so do you. Please be wise to support his efforts to follow God when others try to throw him under the bus. AND, you can even offer to go with that person to see the pastor and deal with those issues. See what happens when you do that… it usually will stop right there.
- And Abroad – Want to know a sure-fire way to have people interested in attending your church? You tell them about what you love about your church and the ways in which you enjoy your pastor. When people see that you trust your pastor in a world when it seems that even churches cannot be trusted, they will be more open to consider visiting your church and hearing what he has to preach about. You probably guessed that the sure-fire way to get people to never darken the doors of your church is to complain and murmur about the latest problem you have had with your pastor. Why would they want to attend a service where you hate your pastor?
I know, I know, I know… all pastors are not lovely all the time. I’m not asking you to lie about your pastor, to paint up the truth if you’re really going through a hard time in your church. I’m asking you to reverence his position, to put some of these free gift ideas into practice and see if they won’t allow you to be a better blessing to your pastor. You might even be blessed in return and see prayers answered on his behalf and attitudes of children changed toward church because you’ve decided to support him publicly at home.
Some people say that best gifts in life are free, and well, I think that applies specifically to many of these principles, because…
When you exercise good Christian character and spiritual investment in someone else, then you’re sure to reap the rewards of giving honor to whom honor is due!