10 Specific Ways You Can Support Your Pastor

senior pastor

I recently wrote 7 Ways to Support your pastor on Sunday, and it was very popular. One frequent suggestion was a post about every day of the week.

It makes sense. I know I am frequently asked how people can support me. What a tremendous boost of encouragement that question is for any pastor. From the frequency of the request, and the popularity of the other post, it’s obviously a question of many in the church.

It primarily, however, made me think most about other pastors. That is the primary focus audience of this blog. I realize I am very blessed. I’m in a good setting. I serve in a fairly large church. They afford us an adequate staff and ours is a healthy staff culture. I don’t lead alone. The church takes care of me and my wife wonderfully. Of course, there are always issues of leadership…lots of them, but I feel very much supported.

So, in case you are wondering, what can you do to support your pastor? (By the way, for ease of writing, this is written using a male connotation and the specific title of pastor, but it is equally true for any people in ministry, regardless of their title or gender.)

Here are 10 suggestions:

Let him have family time – Let him be off when he’s off. There will always be interruptions. He wants to be a part of your life and life doesn’t happen around a schedule. He knows that. But, if your situation can be handled during his normal working hours, please help him protect his family time. Most likely, like most pastors (and people) he struggles to say no to your requests, so think of his family first whenever you ask for his time.

Don’t expect him to be everywhere – Don’t even expect him to be at everything the church does. He has so many hours in a day. And, if you want him to be healthy and effective, then he needs to prioritize his time. Let him do so without feeling needless guilt and pressure.

Lower the expectations on his kids and spouse – Kids are kids. Let them be. The spouse has responsibilities unique from the pastor. The pastor has higher standards placed on him, but the family should not have unrealistic expectations placed on them.

Respect his leadership – If God called him, let him lead. If he’s behaving outside Biblical standards then you have every right and expectation to intercede. If you’re objecting to your personal preference or out of the traditions set by men, humble yourself and follow his leadership unless The Lord removes him.

Encourage him – The best way to do this is through personal notes or emails about the impact the ministry is having on your life. Don’t assume he knows or hears it all the time. Chances are he doesn’t. And if everyone thinks the same, he will usually receive far more criticism than encouragement. In fact, that’s probably true anyway, so send the encouragement now! Today!

Stop gossip – I’ve never known a church where there isn’t some talk about the pastor behind the pastor’s back. Don’t be a party to this and help stop it when you hear it.

Pay him fairly – Consider his experience, his education, and the level of professionalism, leadership and responsibility he will have and the expectations you have for him. My personal advice is to pay him adequately where he can provide for his family, without taking energy away from ministry while worrying over finances. Depending on the person, he may even need help from someone with more experiences in the area of budgeting and finance. Many pastors are not gifted in this area.

Serve with him – Don’t make him beg for you to serve the church…or give to the church. Carry out your role as someone who loves the church. Find a place to serve. Support the church financially.

Pray for him – Daily. Don’t just say you are; actually do it. Pray for him personally. His walk with Christ. His study time. His family time. Pray for his family. Pray for the things about him that bother you. That works better than complaining anyway. Pray for God do to exceedingly abundantly all you could think or imagine through him at your church.

Grow personally – This is not last as a last thought. It’s the one I want to leave you with most. The real struggle for most pastors is undisciplined, immature believers. It’s not the lost. They usually fuel his passion to “seek and save the lost”. It’s not the mature in Christ. They don’t seem to complain. They work to support the church, the pastor, and fulfill the Great Commission. It’s the ones who are in the church, but are still babies in their spiritual maturity. (We all know this, but most won’t say it.) Commit to mature in your walk with Christ. Strive daily to be like Christ. You’ll be in the best position to support not only your pastor, but the church.

Those are my suggestions. With a few genuine people supporting their pastor in this way…watch out for what God can do through this church.

Pastors, what would you add to my list?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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23 thoughts on “10 Specific Ways You Can Support Your Pastor

  1. Please don't forget to pray for the church families to bless your pastors also! I know God knows what we need and who needs it…but He also likes us to talk to him about it, with Him and not everyone else.(gossip) If we truly do pray for others…God's hand may move to help us support our pastors with a new "restored" spirit! ( a RIGHT spirit!) God Please create in Me a renewed and right spirit in me…so that I might be able to support my pastor in His walk with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ ! As I see this man, cruched by death,(and his family) and now a renewed life in Christ, as he joins in a new life , for the living, with this christian woman. She is not a stranger to him, but she is to some of us. We can bless him by welcoming his new bride and partner in this journey we are on. She will be his help mate! He will not only need her help….but he will need our's as they take the narrow road we all must travel to get to our Lord in heaven! Peace to all of you! In Jesus Name Amen!! ( I just realized that Name and Amen have the same letters in them! Sometimes it takes me awhile! lol.) Proverbs 3:5&6 The verse that live by and stand upon.

  2. Rule 11: Let your pastor be a SHE too.
    Rule 12: Let it be okay for you, that your pastor has free times and is a real pastor without being marriaged and / or have children.

  3. I have run into people who insist they are praying for the pastor but continually gossip or complain about the pastor. I think the two things are incompatible. Thankfully my husband has never dealt with this, but I have seen it from someone.

    The money issue is huge. Economic stability comes from either a working wife, an inheritance, or a family subsidy. If my pastor husband dies first nearly all of his pension from the church pension fund dies too. I literally worked by his side for over 40 years. I was unpaid secretary, typing bulletins and writing and typing newsletters. We are talking mostly real typewriters making stencils to run mimeographed copies. The copier availability came much later for us.

    All this was expected, almost demanded. Although I had a degree and a credential for a profession, I was informed by my husband's superior in the church that I was not allowed to job seek. We had no children at the time, but the expectation was that I would be an unpaid full-time pastor's wife, working along side my husband. If my hubs passes away before I do, how does he churc expect me to survive?

  4. Pastor Ron,
    This is great. Thank you so much for this. I love these suggestions. The only one that I would add is "Lower the expectations for the pastor's spouse". I find that there are many expectations on a pastor's spouse. She should be speaking from stage or leading the women's ministry or any numerous expectations that people will place on her. I think our spouse should feel the freedom from expectations from people that don't match who God has wired them to be.

    Great post. Thank you for it.

  5. I really love that you added Grow Personally! I agree, it is the one of the most important ways you can help your Pastor. Vital-Vertical Relationship with Jesus! When you have that, you are not looking to your pastor to meet all your needs or solve all your problems and your horizontal relationship with people becomes so much better. No human being can meet the need that God put in us for us to know HIM. Only God can meet our needs and satisfy us. On twitter on Fridays a few years back I started Friday Pastor Prayer Day. #fppd http://www.thebridegroomscafe.com/ssdigdeep4.htm It is amazing how people responded and sent in their pastor’s name and it is so very cool for all of us on Fridays to pray for the Shepherds of God’s flock from all over the world. Too cool! I think another way to bless a Pastor is to bless His family with “family time gifts”! Get a bunch of people together and be givingly creative. Movie Tickets – Restaurant Gift Cards – Bowling Gift Cards – Christian Concert Tickets – Get Away Gift Card… I know a lot of pastors and they can’t afford to do things like this, what a blessing to their family to be gifted with a “family time out”! Really, you are gifting yourself because Pastors and their families who are rested, replenished and renewed by “family time out” are better at their ministry.
    Twitter: kmac4him

    • I agree! Praise GOD for Pastors who don't just talk…they also walk the way the lord shows us! keep our pastor (david bemis) in prayer…for he and Mary will be married the end of this month. Please pray for broken hearts…Because there is negative spirits around us. God knows our needs! We need to bless others and not waste the energy on negative things….so we may keep the spirit of our God growing and going in our lives and the lives of our church families! We need to remember who we are to give the GLORY to! It's GOD…. Not man!! Praise GOD our Father, who is in heaven. Peace to you and your's!

  6. Thanks for the good thoughts, you mentioned for the ease of writing you used male connotation, here is a link on how to use gender-sensitive language which I have found helpful in my writings both academic and blogging. http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/gender-sens… It will become easier to write in a gender neutral way as you force yourself to learn this style.

  7. A really great book on this subject is, "How to Help Your Pastor Succeed: Moving from the Multitude to the Inner Circle" by Pastor Dave Williams. It was very encouraging for me to read when I started working for my pastor and is something, I think, every church leader should read. And members too!
    Twitter: kathyfannon