Pastor Appreciation Day is just past, but it’s not past time to consider the responsibilities and rare opportunities of the pastor’s job. There are things that can strengthen and aid the pastor’s job. Knowing what they are is essential for both the pastor and his congregation.
Ronnie Floyd is a well-known leader in the Southern Baptist Convention who regularly makes it his job to mentor and train other young pastors in the ministry. He also has a book titled 10 Things Every Minister Needs to Know.
Gleaning from his writing, here is a condensed list of 10 things the minister and his congregation ought to keep in mind:
For the minister: Spend dedicated time each day with God. Not for the sake of becoming legalistic, but to experience the power of disciplined time with God. Your work for God depends directly on your walk with God. The pastoral role is not just a public one. It is based on private relationship with God and time spent before Him in prayer, praise, and devotion.
For the congregant: Remember to keep your pastor in prayer, daily.
For the minister: Know who you are. Or, more importantly, whose you are. God who called you will equip and provide for you.
For the congregant: Remember, your pastor is God’s man, not your employee. Be willing to let God lead the pastor in his calling, and let him lead you.
For the minister: Your family comes before your church. Do not sacrifice your family for the sake of growing your ministry. Spend time with your family in your marriage, discipling your children, in vacationing and communicating with them. And above all, lead them with prayer.
For the congregant: Remember that your pastor has personal and family obligations. Allow him the freedom and the time to take necessary care of his family.
For the minister: It’s not about being right. Being Christ-like is more important than winning people to your point of view. Your goal is to lead people to Christ, based on biblical understanding, not to propagate your opinions among a crowd of loyal fans.
For the congregant: Remember, your pastor is human and may have different ideas than you. The essentials that must check out are whether or not his ideas are in accordance with biblical truth, not whether all his viewpoints mesh with yours.
For the minister: Your ministry depends on other people. Your ministry leadership would not be possible or effective without building relationships. Put people first and make real efforts to connect with people.
For the congregant: Remember, that your pastor also values relationships and true friendships. Take time to genuinely develop a relationship with him.
Read more in 10 Things Every Minister Needs to Know, available for purchase from New Leaf Press. Then, take time to comprehend the reality of those things in your pastor’s life and do what you can to help him to foster those habits and attitudes.