Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on “Issues in the Church” that either aren’t talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a biblical worldview with lots of practical gospel-application.
- Joel opened up our series looking at expository preaching: an end goal more than a style.
- Mike Cooper wrote on pastoral hospital visits.
- Dr. Josh Buice answered to important questions about expository preaching.
- Dr. David Schrock wrote on the question, “What is Jesus’s Evangelism Program?”
- Today Dave writes on how to care for your pastor.
Care for your pastor.
Those four words may not be on your radar right now but by the end of this article, I hope to persuade you of the importance of caring for your pastor, his wife and his family.
Consider Joe (not his real name), a pastor of many years. He and his family have given their lives for the sake of the Gospel and the Church. Pastor Joe loves ministering the Word of God to the people of God. Yet, increasingly his life was being consumed by ministering to the Church. Joe had no boundaries in place to guard his family and eventually cracks started appearing in his marriage and family. Now consider Steve (not his real name). Steve like Joe gave his life for the Gospel and the Church. Steve had boundaries and his church implemented the strategies you’ll learn in this post. Having grown up in the Church, having been to seminary and as one whose been in ministry for over a decade I’ve seen plenty of Joe’s and Steve’s in ministries of all kinds. In this post I want to give three practical suggestions to help you care for your pastor, his wife and his family.
1) Care for your pastor by making sure that they have a pastor. One pastor friend of mine has an elder who meets with him. The congregation doesn’t know who this the elder is. Every pastor should have someone to whom they are being accountable, whether that is an elder or a godly mature saint in the congregation.
2) Care for your Pastor by caring for your pastor’s wife. The pastor’s wife is often overworked by members of the congregation. You can show you care for your pastor by getting her a gift, taking care of her kids or something else specific to help your pastor’s wife know you care. Make sure you make the gift specific to the pastor’s wife’s interests which means getting to know your pastor’s wife. Doing this, will go a long way to be a help to your pastor’s wife who cares for your pastor, his kids and who does a lot to help out the church.
3) Encourage your pastor to read and study for his growth in the grace of God. Your church may not be able to afford a huge book budget for your pastor and if that is the case, try to give your pastor at least a small stipend each year for books. Moreover, from the elders on down to the person in the pew ought to encourage their pastor to read, beginning of course with the Bible, while utilizing other good books as study material. The great pastor Charles Spurgeon was known to read multiple books in a week. Many pastors over the course of church history have found reading to be a means of great help to their spiritual growth in Christ.
I’m convinced that if every church in America implemented one or more of the ideas mentioned above, we would see healthier pastors. Foster an environment where your pastor is cared for, where his family is valued, and where the gospel is advanced in your pastor’s heart and in the life of his family. This will enable the pastor’s life to emulate Christ as well as creating a discipleship culture where families have a solid model of a gospel-centered family. The product of this is a church culture where the gospel may advance first with the leadership, then migrating through that example to the people in the pew who will in turn emulate that example in their own families and in the world around them.
The type of churches we desperately need are places where Christians “one another” each other. The reason Christians can “one another” is the Gospel. This is also the reason you can care for your Pastor. It is because of Jesus’ finished work on our behalf through the present ministry of the Holy Spirit that Christians can care for one another. Care for your pastor and be a part of the solution by the grace of God, creating a Jesus-centered, Gospel-honoring culture to the glory of God in your local church.