“Hey, Preacher! If you had to get a real job, what would you do?”
“It’s 9 a.m. I didn’t think you got out of the bed until 10.”
“We are paying you pretty good for just working one day a week!”
“I know your salary is low, but we give you a parsonage to live in.”
I realize that most of the time these types of statements are made in light-hearted jest, but how much more powerful are words of encouragement than sarcasm for your pastor? When was the last time you really went out of your way to encourage your pastor, who pours out his life each week for those in your church?
Some of the hardest-working men I know are pastors of churches running 200 or less in attendance. They are on call 24 hours a day. They feel the press of the steady deadline of Wednesday night and Sunday, even when a church member passes away and a funeral and visitation occur.
Vacations are cut short because of the emergency hospitalization of a church family member. Invitations to church functions, class parties, and community appearances blur together throughout the week. Counseling appointments need to be scheduled, shut-ins need to be visited, deacons need to be led, and volunteers need to be encouraged.
When everything seems to be going well, a water pipe bursts, or a church member calls with those dreaded words: “Pastor, I have a few concerns a lot of people in the church wanted me to share with you.”
I haven’t even gotten to the connections that need to be made with lost people.
If you are a pastor, I can hear your amen from here. If you are a church member, you are thinking, “Well, he shouldn’t feel like he needs to go to every hospital visit or funeral — unless of course it is me or my family!”
And, most of the time, you will never hear your pastor complain about serving you.
Seeing disciples he has developed lead lost men and women to Christ is worth far more than the riches of this world. Being a part of life transformation is better than any retirement plan you can offer. It is a calling and a great honor. Of course, taking care of your pastor financially is a welcomed bonus!
Your investment in your pastor will be an investment in eternity. Being generous will help him be more focused on the task of making disciple-makers rather than how he will provide for his family, pay for his child’s college, or buy a home with no equity after living in your parsonage.
What does your pastor need to hear from you this week?