Take time to encourage your pastor

by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., Executive Director-Treasurer

Friday, September 8, 2017

How grateful I am for those who serve as pastors of local Baptist churches! It is a role that requires much dedication and is overflowing with disciple-making and gospel-sharing opportunities. There are many spiritual blessings that these chosen servants of God get to enjoy, but the role of church pastor is also not without challenge and sacrifice.

In my ministry assignment as a leader for a Baptist state convention, I have opportunity to work with individuals in numerous positions in Southern Baptist life. As I consider numerous places where individuals are called to serve God in ministry, I have said many times that I do not believe there is a higher calling than the role of pastor for a local church.

October will be here soon, which is the month that is typically recognized as Pastor Appreciation Month. While your pastor is hard at work in your church in the roles of teacher, counselor and countless others, I hope you will take some time to encourage him. It is very easy for pastors to feel underappreciated because of heavy responsibilities and time demands that come with the territory of their job along with responsibilities to their family.

Many pastors are also husbands and fathers, as well. Most pastors feel and experience the very real tension between family and ministry. A pastor’s work is seemingly never done because there is always one more call to make, one more person to visit or a little bit more time that could be spent in sermon preparation.

Because of the nature of their work, pastors and their families sometimes do have to make sacrifices in certain areas. Yet it is sad and unfortunate when family obligations and responsibilities are neglected because of one’s role as a pastor. This need not be the case, nor is it God’s plan for pastors.

So, what can you do next month to honor and recognize your pastor? Perhaps you can verbally express appreciation for him or write a note telling him that you are grateful for his role in your church. Perhaps you can mention to him that you are keeping him and his family in your prayers. What if you as an individual, a Bible study class leader or church body could present to him a gift of some kind to let him know how much he is appreciated by the people he serves?

Whatever it is you decide to do, I hope that you will be a continual source of encouragement to your pastor in his quest to serve the Lord through shepherding your local congregation.

“And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” — Jeremiah 3:15 (NKJV)