When a new pastor and his family follow God’s call to a church, it can be a scary time for them — they don’t know anyone, and they may have left their family to follow His direction.
At the very beginning, a church is usually over the moon about the new arrivals, planning a welcome party and offering many gifts and warm hugs.
There might be a fellowship or a “pounding” for the family. These acts of love are kind and greatly appreciated.
But people may eventually forget about the newness and simply begin to see the new pastor and his family on Sundays. The ministry can be a lonely life. These four tips will help your church minister well to your new pastor and his family on Sundays and during the week, too.
1) Eat Together
- Jesus regularly ate with His disciples for times of fellowship, teaching and building friendships.
- Find ways to minister to your new pastor and his family by eating together.
- Take him out to lunch; invite the family to your house for dinner. They might ask you over at some point, but remember that moving can be intimidating. It can be difficult to invite people over right away.
- If your pastor’s wife is a stay-at-home mom, bring her lunch or invite her to your house.
- There are numerous ways to minister through sharing a meal.
- It is an easy way to get to know your pastor’s family, and it will help them develop friendships.
- Let them know you are part of their team by engaging in what they are doing. If your new pastor is pitching a new goal for the church or teaching a new Bible study, jump in and get involved. Show your appreciation by being present.
- Moving comes with all sorts of stresses and tasks. There are boxes to unpack, decorations to be hung and mishaps in the new home that will need attention. On the flip side, the pastor must get acclimated to his new church.
- Spiritual warfare often occurs when a pastor begins a new ministry.
- All of this normally happens behind closed doors, so find ways to encourage the family via text messages, letters, emails, etc.
- The family has changed everything to follow the call the Lord placed on their hearts. Show them you are part of their team through encouraging words.
- Have no expectations and zero agendas outside of the gospel.
- We all have personal preferences about how things should be done in the church, anything from music to the color of the carpet.
- Engage and encourage your new pastor and his family, and make sure there are no hidden agendas.
- Simply love and care for them. Show God’s love and gratitude every time you see them or speak to them. This will go further than you think.
Pick one of these tips and show God’s love to your new pastor and his family.
You can follow the tips by simply texting and saying you are praying for the family or by inviting them to your home for a meal.
These acts of love will mean the world to your new pastor and his family.
— October is Pastor Appreciation Month in the Southern Baptist Convention. This article first appeared in The Baptist Paper, a publication of The Alabama Baptist.