Showing Support: 8 Ideas for How to Encourage Your Pastor

Showing Support: 8 Ideas for How to Encourage Your Pastor

When was the last time you gave encouragement to the pastor of your church? These men are human, just like you and me. They have hopes, dreams, triumphs, and failures. Their flaws show just as much as ours do. Pastors are our spiritual leaders. The pastoral role is a demanding and consuming vocation; it comes with a yoke of spiritual responsibility that can be physically taxing and create a weary soul.

These faithful and true shepherds want to be life giving with genuine love and a strong voice. A Godly man feels justified when he's created healthy church. But in shepherding god's people, a pastor is subject to real sin nature, will experience a sheep bite, have bad moments and consider leaving the ministry.

A strong church is a flock entrusted to standing alongside their true shepherd. Now is the time to show pastor appreciation. Godly men cannot stand on their own power in this fallen world. Very few people understand the loneliness a pastor's life experiences. Far too many pastors are leaving church. Its imperative show pastor appreciation as a sign of spiritual growth and support.

How to Encourage Your Pastor

Have you ever come to a place in your life and asked yourself, "What is the point of me doing this? What difference does it make?" Our pastors are human, subject to the same personal struggles as the rest of us. Because they are worship leaders, they undergo more attacks from the enemy as they spread God's word. These attacks are mentally, physically and emotionally draining if pastors are not seeing fruits of their ministry.  

Did you know many pastors experience high levels of burnout? An article by the New York Times states that 46% of pastors under the age of 45 consider quitting the ministry compared to 34% of those aged 45 or older. Like any human being, they need their wells filled with water from living testaments, their congregation. Now its time for you to be a soul doctor. Below is a list of ideas to strengthen your pastor's resolve by bringing honor to how they impact your spiritual journey.

Pray for Him

Someone once told me that I was here because someone prayed for me. Parents pray for their children. Husbands pray for their wives. As a loyal spiritual family member, you must pray for your pastor. There is a connection of your heart opening communication with God to grant your shepherd the strength and will to lead his people. Prayer is peaceful, fulfilling, and healing.

The weight of pastoring is enormous. Some of the bible’s most prominent people felt this weight (John the Baptist, Paul). They knew they could not stand alone on the front lines of a spiritual war. Only with the power of God could they continue. Prayer is one of the greatest gifts you can give a person. Pray for your pastor. And letting them know you are praying for them uplifts their soul.

Develop a Relationship with Your Pastor and the Pastor’s Wife

Developing a relationship with the pastor and his family can be a refreshing reminder of how human they are. We place high expectations on a person of the cloth, someone we see as a direct line of communication with the God. Because of this, some people misunderstand who a pastor is under the suit, tie, robes, etc.

Offer to take the pastor and their better half to dinner or some other fun outing. Talk about everything under the sun except church or ask for prayer requests. Listen to their laugh, find out an interest they don't share often and ask what their favorite fruit is. Get to know them on a deeper level and you will have an understanding of someone who is ultimately human.

Your church leader will appreciate the effort like a warm hug.

Show Him Appreciation

Peter Drucker, a leading management authority, believes the four most challenging jobs in America are: The President of the United States, a university president, a hospital administrator, and a pastor of a local church.

Paul writes: “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, ESV)

Many churches recognize the need for an appreciation day for the shepherd of their flock. October is Pastor Appreciation Month and the official pastor appreciation day is October 8th. But what are some things you can do to show gratitude for the person who leads you in prayer life?

  • Write them a handwritten note.
  • Offer to fix things around their house.
  • Lovingly suggest or offer to cook for them.
  • Schedule a Sunday to conduct the Sunday service, and give them a long weekend.
  • Take him to a game

Encourage Him To Attend Conferences Away from the Local Church

One of the mistakes humans make is believing they have nothing else to learn after so many years. God bestows upon us more gifts and talents than we can ever hope to use in a lifetime. Our gift to God is to develop and use as many of those gifts as possible. Encouraging your pastor's decisions to attend conferences helps to feed their knowledge, spirit, and mind.

Having fellowships with other pastors of the same spirit, sharing a sermon outline, listening to the preached word and building relationships can help give them gain a new perspective on their spiritual devotion. Also, it can lead to new ideas of how to be a more decisive leader for the church.

Do not forget pastor loves for their better half to attend conferences also. There conferences specifically for the wives of pastors. Remember they are part of the high calling, and serve alongside their husbands. We can't let the wives be solely responsible for the person God has called to the preach.

Encourage Him to Take Vacations

The bible taught us instances when Jesus retreated on at least three occasions. He took off with his disciples for some rest and renewal. In walking the steps of Christ, our pastors need to retreat with their families for rest and renewal. Some churches do an excellent job in helping pastors coordinate the rest they need to be at their best on the path ahead.

People are working harder and longer than ever. With the state of the world being what it is, it’s becoming more taxing on pastors to keep their congregations steadfast and inspired. But they cannot do this if their lauders are dry. A church can run without the physical leader for short spurts of time. Remember, the church only has one indispensable member, and He is with us wherever we go.

Acknowledge His Family

We are never alone in anything we do in life. The people who surround us, our friends, family, and supporters, experience our ups and downs. Just as pastors have a certain level of expectation, the same goes for their families. They are also under pressure to present an unbreakable image of faith and morality that can become burdensome.

Humans are pros at placing expectations on pastors families. Remove these expectations. Focus on their needs and find out what you can help them with. Respect their choices. Take a few Sundays every year to specifically bless your pastor’s family.

Thank God for Him

The calling to ministry from God is an essential acknowledgment in a person's life. Our gratitude must be boundless for people accepting their spiritual responsibility. Praise the Lord for sending your pastor to your church family. A divine design of a church leader's placement makes it all the more special when you think about them in your life.

More than adequately express you are thankful for their presence in your church. Give specific praise to show you are genuine in your words. Gather others to lock arms in honoring the pastor. The power of many people thanking God for their shepherd is inspiring vested interest.

Give Him Grace

With time comes failure. No human being is above sin; this includes your pastor. In their leadership role, a pastor, and his family, live in a glass house. People see the important aspects of their lives. What will be your response if your pastor falters? Will you write him off, call for his resignation or cut ties with him? Falling short of the glory of God is what humans do. Would you want to others to respond the same way if you failed?

No. You would want grace. Grace is undeserved favor bestowed on a person freely. A mistake should not be a person’s downfall. Why does God allow us to fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up. Many of us need help to pick ourselves up. We need the help of others. If you want grace bestowed on you in times you have failed, remember your pastor is just as susceptible to sin as the next human.

Pray, forgive, and grant grace to the pastor and his family.


When I was younger, I remember the firm handshake I received from the pastor of our church. As a child, I did not think a pastor could do wrong. I never heard a bad word about him, nor his family. And he was the picture of faith unbreakable. Of course, I learned he was a person, just like me, with fears, facing outright resistance and having a history of mistakes.

Thoughtfulness makes all the difference. If your pastor is going through a particularly difficult season, you can help strengthen his ministry. Bob Russell is a best-selling author who ministered for 50 years. He mentors many young pastors. Considered blessing your pastor with Russell's After 50 Years of Ministry 7 Things I’d Do Differently & 7 Things I’d Do The Same.

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