I went to a youth leader’s conference last weekend. They had several awesome main sessions and a bunch of good breakout sessions. On the list I saw that they had a breakout session called “How To Bless Your Pastor”. I was really glad to see a breakout session taking time to teach how to do this. Even though I didn’t go to the session, thoughts of how to bless my pastor have been circling in my head for a few days and I wanted to post some of them.
Pray for him
This is the most important and, if I am honest, the one I do least. There are things that pastors face that only God can help and resolve. By praying, I am petitioning God to do what only He can do. I also try to make sure that I pray positively. I pray for wisdom, strength and grace for my leadership and as a result I am helping cut through the demonic attack against them and helping God encourage their souls.
God has been challenging me to pray for them instead of criticizing them. I used to say I pray for my pastor, but then God challenged me track how much I prayed versus how much I spoke negatively against him. The result shocked me. He reminded me that in James 3:10 the Bible states that “blessing and cursing flow from the same mouth…this should not be”.
Stand up and defend him in times of criticism
What pastors need are people who will shield, guard and defend them. They need people who will speak out for them and be their voice when they hear someone criticizing them especially since the majority of criticism comes from behind the back of a pastor). They need people around them who believe and trust them. In 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan’s armor bearer believed, followed and protected his leader in whatever his leader wanted to do. Abishai was one of David’s “mighty men” and he was constantly defending and protecting David. He went so far to ask David if he could kill those who slandered him (David said no.). Where are the people who long to protect and defend their leaders in every way possible?
I try to do my best to defend my leadership, sometimes to a fault. One of the reasons I think I do it is because of how I was raised. At the church I grew up in, the senior pastor fell into a serious scandal, yet my family would not participate in any rumors or criticisms of the pastor. Why? Cause it’s a principle in the Bible. David would not speak against anyone the Lord had anointed, no matter how deceived they were or how much sin they were in. God doesn’t approve of all of His anointed ones’ actions, but He requires us not to speak ill of them, or “touch” them (in a harmful or negative manner) in any way.
Help, love and support his family
One of the most encouraging things for a pastor to know is that you not only support them but you also support and love their family. Pastors are blessed when people not only help out the pastor, but do whatever they can to help out the entire family, especially when hard times come.
Please understand, many pastors don’t get to spend Christmas or other special days with their families. They respond to church family emergencies and many times their own family suffers for it. People who come along side the pastor and help them in whatever way they can to make sure their family is taken care of and loved is truly a blessing for anyone in leadership. Sometimes it’s you taking the hospital visit, fixing dinner for their family or taking their kids out to the beach for a day of fun.
Serve, serve, serve (and don’t argue or complain about it)
Words without action do very little in life. I may say I support my pastor, but what am I actually doing to prove it? I try to do everything I possibly can to help my pastors out. This sometimes can be taxing and frustrating, but showing love and support often is. That’s the hardest part about serving. It calls you to deny your flesh, take up the towel and wash another’s feet, whether they are a stranger, friend or leader.
I remember one time that I did not have any desire to serve (for whatever reason) but then I read in Luke 16:12 where Jesus asked His disciples:
And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?
I realized that even when I have no desire to serve, by serving today I am investing in my own ministry and life one day. I want people who will help me one day fulfill the call of God on my life, so according to that scripture I must help others fulfill theirs.
Speak words of encouragement (this will benefit both parties)
This is very easy and practical to do. Saying how much you’re thankful to a pastor or how well of a job they’re doing in a particular area encourages a pastor to keep going. Even if they’re doing a lot wrong, everyone does something right so try to focus on that. One of the tricks of the enemy is to make a pastor feel that they’re not being effective. Another way to combat this (after prayer and defending) is to verbal tell them what God has done in your life through them. The testimonies that you give them with help them wage war with the “accuser of the brethren”. It will bring hope and cheer to his soul, and when your pastor is encouraged and he is happy and joyous, it will benefit the entire church, including you.