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Do you support your pastor?

February 7, 2007

I recently read a book that completely changed my thinking about what it means to support my pastor. For the first time in my life I am attending a church where my pastors are accessible, open, and available. I was raised in a denominational church where the pastor changed every few years. Although I left with the pastor (he was my dad), most people made the commitment to the church and to supporting it rather than to supporting the pastor. My views on how to support, encourage, equip, enable, and defend my pastor have changed a lot over the few months I have been a part of my church. I now know that church is so much more than the programs and the calendar, but is all about the people and the pastor affects every person that comes through the church doors.

Here are a few quotes from the book (You Can Make a Difference in Your Pastor’s Life Shoulder to Shoulder by Dan Reiland):
“Risks must be taken for the church to grow. In your pastor’s attempts to grow the church he will make mistakes. The bigger the church, the bigger the impact of the mistakes. But all pastors make them. The best pastors make them regularly and admit them freely. The key is in not making the same mistake over and over again. If a pastor is not making many mistakes, he’s not taking enough risks. You can support your pastor by encouraging him to make a few mistakes this month! Laugh about them, and learn from them together. Pastors tend to report success quicker than failures, but you can make a difference by letting your pastor know you realize he is human.”

“How committed to your church are you? Your church needs you to help it become better. Commitment is necessary for your own spiritual growth as well is the growth of your church. Your pastor needs your commitment and support in order to fulfill the great commission of Matthew 28 – to go and make disciples.”

“Your pastor is your “spiritual coach.” He is responsible to cast vision, motivate, teach spiritual truths, train you in the basics of your faith, and show you how to fit on the ministry team. Your job is to get off the bench by getting in the game.” “What is nonnegotiable is whether or not you are part of the team.  You are on the team-congratulations! Now the question is, will you spend it on the sidelines or in the game?”

Are you praying for your pastor? Are you committed to your church, pastor, and God in a way that supports your pastor? As you pray for your pastor God will change and grow your heart. I have a picture of my pastors on my desk to remind me to pray for them every day. I have made that commitment and have even told one of them that I am committed to supporting him through daily prayer. Nothing has changed my heart and commitment to my church more than praying for and supporting my pastors. It has been such a blessing for me. I can only hope it is a blessing for them too.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2007 8:38 am

    Sherie…I am honored and humbled. Thank you for your prayers. Lord knows I need it! They are a blessing. I hope that as we travel in community together that I can be a blessing to you also. Thank you again…

  2. February 8, 2007 7:34 pm

    It is I who am honored to be a part of a church that is God centered and seeking to be faithful in all they do. That starts with the leadership. It is a privilege and blessing to have leaders I can respect and trust. I know the cost paid through the demands that are on you and your families. I can’t walk that course for you, but I hope my prayers do support you along that path.

  3. Moses Sanga permalink
    March 21, 2008 11:42 pm

    Many christians think of what they are getting from the pastor but never care about what they are giving back. Thax 4 being a blessing to your church and i pray that more christians see the light 2

  4. March 22, 2008 10:26 am

    Thanks Moses. It ia a balance, but I agree that often we view pastors and other leaders only through the eyes of what we get. They are people and need support, friends, acceptance, and patience too. Our pastors will fail us and falter just like we do because they are not perfect. We need to love them through that. The balance part is to know that sometimes situations are unhealthy or toxic, and there are times we need to hold our leaders accountable for their actions and beliefs. No leader (pastor or other) should be hurting others through their leadership and that is becoming a growing problem in churches in America. I hope it is a trend we can stop.

  5. Sherrie permalink
    October 8, 2008 8:31 am

    Thank you so much for this article. I am a pastor’s wife and I find it so refreshing to find others sincerely trying to bless their pastor as much as he is blessing them.
    I am putting together a newsletter for Pastor Appreciation Month and I will definately be using this article to bless our church.
    May God continue to bless your ministry!

  6. October 8, 2008 2:18 pm

    Thank you Sherrie. I have wrestled with this post because a few months ago I left the church I was a part of when I wrote this post due to ungodly leadership. Supporting your pastor is vital to you, the church, and your pastor, but an equally important thing is to know when you should no longer support the pastor. I believe that should only happen if you feel they are not abiding by God’s word, but if someone feels their pastor is not abiding by the word and you try to address it but the pastor will not admit their sin and change then run from that church. Good, strong leaders who live with righteousness and godliness are to be treasured and supported, those who are not living and leading that way should be avoided as they will cost you and the community many things. We need to stop being passive about attending church, being involved, and holding each other to God’s standard. Finding good, solid leaders that you can entrust your spiritual life and health to can be difficult, but I speak from personal experience that it is incredibly worth it. Many people are willing to move to another community for family or a job, I recently did it because I found a pastor I could trust and who I believe will speak into my life and call me to that standard with passion and grace. So far, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Those are the type of leaders we should be running to because they are pointing us to God, not their own theories, thoughts, or to themselves. I am seeking to support and care for my pastor in how I respond to him, in babysitting his kids so he can have a date night, in assisting him with decisions and responsibilities at the church, and in just caring about how he is personally doing each week as he leads us. Pastors give to us and pour out constantly, one of the big things we need to do is be sure they are being poured into and supported also.

  7. December 20, 2009 8:16 am

    Dear Brother are Parents in Christ, Greetings to you in His Sacred Name. HAPPY happy christmas GREETINGS We are conveying your good wishes in the name of Jesus Christ.. Greetings to you in His Sacred Name. Good greetings of to you. We are writing from our Banjara Tribal as the pastor,s team and our church believers and the poorest of the poor destitute, orphans, widows women?s, blind, polio, aged people, leprosy, physically handicapped, street children?s and other orphanage children?s disadvantaged of this area. We are safe, and hove are you. We hope that god will grant you happiness, health and wealth through out your life. Dear beloved brother in Christ, Greetings to both of you from (Pastor) P.Rama Murthy (Stephen) Naik Yerragonda Palem ( India ) in the name of our lord and savior Jesus Christ. We are all doing well by the grace of almighty god and by your blessings also and we are also praying for your Ministries and Church, your family. We have not yet seen to each
    other, but we are loving very much to each other since Philiphans 1:1 ? 7. Let me at the outset, introduce my self. I am Ramamurthy (Stephen) Naik (Pastor) residing at Yerragonda Palem, Prakasam District, South India . I decided to develop intimacy and friendship and do lord?s work. I praise the lord for giving me this opportunity. I thanking you for praying for me and treating me as your brother or friend or fellow worker. Inspired by your prayers, I am going forward in his work. I am praying for your. Our Church and our Pastors also remembers you in its daily prayers and fasting prayers. We belong to BANJARA TRIBE (GYPSY). Our Mother Tongue is TELUGU LANGUAGE which is very backward educationally socially and financially. The almighty god saved me and using me for his work (I TIMOTHY 1:12 ? 17) we live thick forests, village our people are addicted to drinking, cheating and robbing the passers by is a common profession to many of us. We live on
    hunting, collecting the forest products. People living in town and cities look down and ill that us. Our life style is very peculiar. Our women wear a special dress. We worship stones. Neemtree, Ant hills, Idols made of mud, and other things. Our people are very backward in education. Actually there are no educational facilities, non medical facilities. I studied up to intermediate class and had to give up studies because of poverty up and working as cooli on daily wages. On 1-1-1984 some of the lords servants came to our tribal village and started preaching. Their words were new to us. We had never heard such messages. Their messages brought a lot of change in our people. The word of God perced into my heart. I could know that I was a sinner. I went to one of them and begged for prayer. He prayed for me and official a new testament. As I was reading the word of God and praying every day, a miracle had taken place in my life. I confessed my sin and
    accepted Christ as my lord and savior. I was baptized on 09-10-1984. God called me to His service (Luke: 5:4-11) obeying his word, I looking his yoke and doing his work since them. I am being used by God as an instrument to spread his gospel among the nomadic tribes of our area. I wanted to bring the uneducated and uncivilized people of our treat to the fact of Jesus. I visited different villages on foot, preached the work of God and made them to accept Christ as their savior. Yet there are may to be brought to His feet. We are praying for them. I could start 9 Churches at different places and appointed 9 believe as pastors. They are daily voluntary Gospel work as I am doing I am also pastering one Church at Yerragondapalem. Transporting facilities are practically nil in our hilly area. One has to go up and the hills and hillocks the villages and cross rivulets to reach different villages. The distance between one villages is very big. Our Gospel
    workers do not have even bicycles worship is being conducted in small huts.. There are orphans, street children and destitudes. There are no schools in these villages. One has to go to a distant village in planes on foot to study. This very dangerous because wild animals wander even in day light. Threatening the passers by. So there is n need to start schools for educating the tribal children may people are dying every day, due to poverty and lack of medical facilities. There is much to be done for these forsaken people who live forest beasts and animals. But our hands are not strong enough to provide food, clothing, shelter medical and educational facilities. We are praying God to send help from any souce and hopefully awaiting a nicle to happen. Dear Brother. I am protected from tribal cart and Lord keep the as service man of him. The people from so many tribal areas of forest and hills area were used in Lord god Ministry. God has given in two places
    in tribal area i.e. tow Churches. With the god has given 9 numbers of God servants and doing ministry. By his day by day. We are conveying “GOSPEL” to so many people. Everyday, from village we are visiting every village and every house. In small huts, we are conducted “Sunday worships and prayers in other times also. We are suffering from lack of church buildings. Kindly pray for us. Lord selected us from backward forest area. In Andhra Pradesh, Ongole, Guntur , Nalgonda, Warangal Districts are backward districts. In this districts Lambadies Chenchulu, Erukula and Yanadis People are livings so, 250 Tribal Tandas (Villages) were mere villagers and people were unaware of Gospels from those areas. We are came forward no our are to transit Gospel, because no road transport ? so people are facing difficulties. From this villages, we should go by walk to tell Gospel to Villagers. To convey Gospel to his places, your prayer is very much in need. We are if we
    want to buy ? pamphlets, Bibles, Books, Gospel Books, we do not have economic support please pray for us about his matter. No one is helping to us from any place, in these forest areas, people are wondering on the roads without food and cloths. Please pray for his people we are so backwards and lack of fund people, so we are back ward in Lord God Ministry service. We want 300 Bibles, pamphlets of Gospels and books to us. Our mother tongue is TELUGU LANGUAGES so we need Telugu bibles and pamphlets, Books. Kindly pray for us for these. We are praying for you and your ministry. We will be happy and great full if you can extend your helping hand we are requesting God with them in our fasting prayers to send help. Ephesians 3:20. Please pray for our Tribal Ministry Ministers, Churches and families of our ministries. Please pray for orphans destitudes and streets children. James 1:27 May God bless you adundantely and use you in His service. III John 1:1-2.
    Awaiting your early reply. Yours in His Service (P. RAMAMURTHY (Stephen) NAIK) (Pastor) From P. Rama Murthy (Stephen) Naik, (Pastor) Post Office Second Line, Indira Nagar, YERRAGONDA PALEM, (P&M) Prakasam District, A.P. South India, Pin : 523 327 E-mail : Pastorstephen_naik2006@yahoo.co.in ,cell NO:919492320482.

    • December 27, 2009 9:48 pm

      Pastor Stephen, I will pray for you and your people. I know he will provide an avenue for your people to hear the gospel. I don’t know if that is through the resources as you suggest or through another avenue, but I will take that before the Lord and ask him to provide. As we do not know you or your people directly I don’t believe that God is calling me or any of my readers to directly support you, but I will leave that up to the Lord to guide each person. I hope that you can connect with a strong Christian organization that might be able to help you to find resources in your native language as I know there are many great organizations providing service like this.

      Blessings to you and again I will be praying for you and your people.

  8. tsfgodguy permalink
    November 8, 2010 7:30 am

    Great post….. thank you…… The question I have is what about your new church brought you to this understanding? The relationships? The teaching? Just curious….

    • November 8, 2010 8:31 pm

      Great question. A lot of the new insights came because of the exact journey I was on. As the child of a pastor my views and insights about church were different than many others. After I grew up and moved away from my parents I joined a church that over time turned very unhealthy, where one bad decision led to another and another. I tried for many years to hang on and be part of the solution until I was abused by the church. This devastated my faith and it took a long hard journey for me to even reenter the church. When I did reenter a church I came to one that desired to have real community, to connect people’s lives, and where the pastors would actually sit down and talk through things with you, or at least try to. My concept of faith, God, and Christianity began changing. The journey of healing has been a long one, but looking back now on all the Lord has taken me through it has been an amazing ride. I am now doing really well, and am able to share, teach, and equip others. My greatest passion is to help broken people find a way through their journey, and to a life of freedom, joy, and faith.

      Over time there are several things that made the greatest impacts: 1) Prayer and being in the Word with others. I was so mixed up and confused and spiritually malnourished from the abuse that I needed to be cared for with extra support for a time. Now I can study and receive on my own, but for a time I couldn’t. 2) Identity – I had never learned what my identity was as a Christian and once I grasped this it changed my entire faith. 3) Teachings – Grounded on the Gospel, not just talking about Gospel truths but going straight to the Word and letting it transform me. 4) Relationships – I still struggle to find the depth of community that I would really like, but the community I have had was important. The most important thing was to have some strong committed relationships where people wouldn’t give up on me and believed that people are not disposable and Christ is enough to meet our needs and change lives.

  9. Chris permalink
    February 21, 2011 5:23 pm

    Our pastor was caught red handed taking sermons fromt he internet and reading them verbatum on Sunday mornings. He admitted to it and agreed to preach a sermon of foregiveness on Sunday morning. Some of his “deacon buds” got together and had a love fest for him, and convinced him he didn’t have to preach a sermon on forgiveness. There were two sides against each other, and it basically split the church.
    Since then, the pastor gets on his facebook page and qrites quotes from other people that are directed at those who found fault with his actions. No words of encouragement, just words that fit his agenda. A few Sunday’s ago, he said that he had only been contacted by families in need less than 10 times in 20 years. There is a reason for that. 3 other pastors in town have all stated that if he loved his church, he would leave. Only problem is that with no degree, and in his 50′s he can’t go anywhere else. We are in a funk that we can’t shake. Over 100 families have left and went elsewhere.
    If you read this pastor, please find it in your heart to go somewhere else and start anew. If you are so into missions, then take that route. We need you to leave so we can heal. You need to leave so you can heal. Staying and trying to close an open wound with salt will only make things worse.

    • February 21, 2011 6:49 pm

      I am so sorry to hear what you/your church is going through. Struggles like that are hard for every single person involved. My heart aches with you.

      As an outsider with few facts I may be completely off base here, but when I hear stories like this my first inclination is to stop my own thinking and look to scripture. We are created by God, in his image, and every single one of us valuable. We are loved by God, but sin exists and it breaks the relationship we have with him. When that happens (no matter if it is a “big” sin or a “lesser” sin), the relationship with God and often with others is damaged deeply. Until we confess that sin and seek to make it right by repenting, healing can not occur. Repenting comes from a form of sorrow that makes you want to change because you come to really understand your sin and what it has done. Repenting is more than just admitting the wrong, it is a heart condition that the person wants to set things right and truly change. . 2 Corinthians 7 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.” All of this takes tremendous humility, most often coupled with deep brokenness as the effects of the sin are recognized and embraced.

      So, my prayer for your church, the leaders, and especially the pastor is that confession, godly sorrow, acknowledgement and embracing of the brokenness of sin, and deep repentance will take place. Then, grace can occur and healing can take place. I also think of 1 Cor. 10: 31-33 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” I pray that the Lord is providing the care for those who need it the most right now and who are at risk of losing faith through this.

      Sherie

  10. G.Terrell permalink
    June 21, 2012 2:58 pm

    Sometimes I forget that he is no different than me and makes mistakes at times. Thanks

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