7 Strong, but Hopefully Helpful Words for Pastors

senior pastor

This is for all my pastor friends. It may not make as much sense to readers who haven’t served in that role. One thing that sets me apart from some pastors is that the amount of time I spent in the business world is greater than the time I have been in ministry. It has given me a unique perspective.

It’s also helped me realize I didn’t understand the unique pressures of ministry completely until I was in ministry. It’s made me want to encourage pastors whenever I can. That’s the point of this post.

Here are 7 strong, but hopefully encouraging words:

You aren’t promised church growth – Check the Scriptures for examples.You’re promised ultimate victory, but not immediate success. I do believe a healthy church is a growing church…either externally or internally…it’s producing more disciples, but sometimes you’re there for a season of preparation for future growth. That doesn’t always seem like glamorous work, but it’s necessary work.

You’ll never please everyone – As hard as you try. You can say what you think people want to hear and you still won’t make everyone happy. It’s better, therefore, just to do the right thing…following God’s direction…and not worry as much about making people happy.

Your call is bigger than your assignment - It’s true. And, it’s good. Your call is to a person. THE PERSON. The person of Jesus Christ. What group of people…no matter how great they are…is going to measure up to Him?

They are talking about you – It’s not just a feeling you have. They are. And, that’s not always a bad thing. You are an influence in their life…hopefully…and that naturally stirs conversation. Good and bad. Don’t be as concerned about that. Be more concerned about your heart and character than their behind your back conversations.

Your priority isn’t always their perceived priority for you – They often want you to do what they think you need to be doing. The problem with that is the number of competing perceptions in the church. You can never convince some people that you have responsibilities beyond their individual needs. That’s okay. You can’t understand everything in their world either. Just stay true to your purpose…to honor God with your time and give Him glory. Work for the pleasure of One and you’ll be fine.

They don’t love your family as much as you do - I’m not saying they don’t love your family. I’m sure they do. But, their wants (and demands) will sometimes trump their love for your family. That’s human nature. That means if you want to protect your family…and your time with them…it’s up to you and not them. Love your church. Love them well. That’s your responsibility, but in the process remember that only you can love your family the way they deserve to be loved.

Your biggest reward is yet to come – You may not always hear how good a job you are doing. They may not always post “excellent…life changing…message” on your Facebook wall. Don’t live for that. It will make you very ineffective and cause pride to get in your way. Some days you’ll wonder if you’re making headways at all. That’s okay…your greatest rewards will be the ones for which you wait longest. And, if you are faithful…great will be your reward.

Pastors, I love you. Praying for you. Let me know if I can help.

What words of encouragement do you have for pastors? 

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

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13 thoughts on “7 Strong, but Hopefully Helpful Words for Pastors

  1. I moved within the last year to a town of less than 2k after spending my whole life in metropolitan areas, and it is difficult knowing that do many are talking about you. Trying my best to learn that not everyone will like everything I say/do.
    Twitter: _brad_gilbert_

  2. I'm pastoring a church in the Philippines with 300 members/congregation, rearing leader of leaders, and running 8 years of handling it i may say that the above mentioned encouraging words were true. Thanks that I visited and read your blog and its God's timing to help me out with the struggles im currently experiencing. Shalom!

  3. God bless you! I love these words of wisdom. My husband and I are new Pastors. After reading this article, we will apply these spiritual nuggets to our lives.

    Thank you,
    Pastor Tanya M. Adams

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  5. I'm an ordained elder in the PCUSA. I was taught that was to minister as much as a pastor. I've done as I've believed for 40+ years. I KNOW what you're saying. So very true. Never can please everyone so keep focused on THE ONE. Sometimes that has been really tough. Sometimes there has been great joy. I'm in one of those funk times now and am trying to discern HIS leading to what I'm suppose to be doing. One of these days I'll see clearly. God is Good always.

  6. Regardless of the size of your congregation learn to keep your focus small. Size has nothing to do with it, even Jesus only started with a dozen. It only took One Man to minister to Billy Graham and look what that has accomplished for God.
    Stay small

  7. Wonderful reminder that being a pastor is all about following Jesus and leading others as far as they are willing to go in that direction. Being a pastor is not an audition for some TV reality show.

  8. Thanks Ron, for this post! My heart breaks for those pastors who are struggling and under heavy burdens….and of all the stats on this issue, my heart breaks most for the one that says that 70% of all pastors say they don't have a close friend they can talk to (other than their spouse). That's the reason I have pastor2pastors.com, even thought I'm not a great blogger like you…I meet one on one with many pastors and church staff to encourage them as they minister to others.
    May God bless you for all you do to encourage Pastors and may you be encouraged as well that your blog is being used by God to help others.