Choosing to bless our church leaders isn’t often discussed but, like it or not, the men & women leading your church will set the tone of your worshiping community. If they are focused on The Prize through a life of prayer, worship & acts of service, it is likely that your whole community will follow suit. But if they are weighed down by worries, insecurities and doubts, it will impede both their spiritual lives and those of their congregation.
Congregation members often underestimate the effects of their words and actions toward their church leader. As human beings, church leaders want to feel loved and valued. And like many of us, it’s actually pretty easy to encourage them once you know how. Do you want to bless your church leader? Here are just two suggestions:
Buy them a beer. Or a coffee.
Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The labourer deserves to be paid.” (1 Tim 5 17-18)
Buying your church leader a pint is a modern day way of honouring them. That drink is telling them, you are valued and loved. It’s what managers do when their team has smashed their monthly targets; it’s how we welcome a new colleague to the office. Why not honour your pastor in the same way? International Buy a Priest a Beer day (9th September) is an annual reminder to send that text and buy your church leader a glass of their favourite tipple.
Those in all levels of church leadership, be it ordained or otherwise, often spend a large amount of time giving of themselves: Mornings interceding for their church community; Afternoons arranging funerals with distraught families; Evenings making models for their next sermon illustration.
What we forget, though we always know it deep down, is that our leaders are only human. They can feel discouraged and unloved like the next person in the pew. An invitation out for a drink or for their family to come for lunch speaks volumes. It says, we care about you and want to build you up. Your physical and emotional needs have not gone unnoticed. We value you.
Pray for them.
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” (1Ti 2:1-2)
Praying for your church leaders is the most significant contribution you can gift to their ministry. If we believe that prayer changes things it’s an absolute no brainer to pray for those who lead us. The men and women in church leadership are not immune to disillusionment and periods of darkness. Leading others while journeying in this state can be a struggle. When their words of prayer fail to flow the prayers of others can carry them. So make a point to pray for your leaders.
And don’t forget to tell them. It can feel awkward, if a little twee, but reassuring your church leader that you are praying for them will both encourage and embolden them. If you are looking for a moment to encourage them why not mention it over that pint?!
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