Caring For Your Pastor
According to the Barna Group, the average pastor lasts only five years at a church and churchgoers expect their pastor to juggle an average of 16 major tasks. Pastors are among the nation's most overworked and under-appreciated group of professionals. A rising divorce rate among clergy indicate ministry's high-risk nature and its impact on clergy families.
Sound dismal? It doesn't have to. Learn the language of appreciation, and you may turn the tide of early departures from the pulpit. Here are several simple ways to encourage your pastoral staff:
- Hug-a-Staff Day: Introduce the staff during church, and give them "Staff" T-shirts, hats or buttons. Turn the congregation loose to tell staff members how their service has blessed your family.
- Next Sunday, share with your pastor what you appreciate about his ministry.
- Create a prayer calendar for the church bulletin or newsletter. Include 30 ways to pray for your pastor and family (relationships, temptations, spiritual growth, marriage, finances, boundaries, discernment, spiritual gifts, time management).
- Write to your pastor's spouse. Let her know you notice her kindness, character, how she loves her husband, her tenderness with her children, etc.
- After the sermon, tell the pastor what sticks with you.
- Tell the staff you are praying for their families.
- Send cards for birthdays and anniversaries.
- Look for buy-one-get-one-free sales to stock up on items for a care package to the pastor's family or his college-age kids.
- Mow the church lawn, clean classrooms, pick up in the sanctuary.
- Make cookies for a surprise reception.
- Buy tennis (or golf or . . . ) balls, and invite the pastor for a game. Pay the playing fees.
- Send the clergy couple a certificate to a bed-and-breakfast.
- Donate baby-sitting services.
Whatever you do or however you choose to hold him "in highest regard in love" (1 Thessalonians 5:13), don't let your pastor be a statistic.