“Encourage one another.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Editor’s note: When the retired pastor and prolific blogger Joe McKeever wanted to share some words that will encourage pastors, he asked for help from his online readers. He was deluged, so he compiled a list from their contributions – and sometimes added his own commentary.
The following list is abbreviated from his blog “49 encouraging things to say to your pastor” posted July 13. Every church member should find a few good ideas here. Find more of McKeever’s sometimes humorous and always insightful blogs at joemckeever.com and here on afa.net/the-stand.
1. I’m praying for you. This was overwhelmingly the consensus for the number one encouragement for any preacher. But don’t say it if you’re not doing it!
2. I love you. And likewise, this was strong. Every minister should know they are loved.
3. Quote (or read) Hebrews 6:10, my all-time favorite Scripture for a faithful servant of the Lord: “God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love that you have shown to His name in having ministered to the saints and in still ministering.” It’s one thing to say “I remember,” but another entirely to say that “God remembers.” Great promise.
4. We are taking 1 Timothy 5:17 to heart, Pastor, and starting immediately we are doubling your pay. Ha. In your dreams.
5. Thank you. With a smile, a handshake, or a hug.
6. Thank you for the positive impact you are having in our community.
7. Pastor, here is a nice gift card to your favorite restaurant. Take the family out to dinner, and remember that you are loved. (Make sure it’s enough to cover the meal and a tip.)
8. I’ve learned so much in this sermon series. (If possible, tell the pastor what you learned or will never forget.)
9. You gave great leadership on that fund-raising project! Or whatever the project.
10. I’ve got your back! Be ready to explain what this means, and to follow through.
11. May I pray with you right now? (But don’t pray a lengthy prayer.)
12. Pastor, here’s a box of chocolates and a couple million dollars. (Try that on me, and I’ll let you know how it goes.)
13. I’m a better Christian because of you. (One told me last week, “I grew more during your years here than at any other time in my life.”)
14. Stop by when you can. I’ve baked your favorite cake. (Better yet, here it is!)
15. You’re my favorite pastor ever. (But, as a senior lady said to me, “I have always loved all my pastors!” I gave her a hug and affirmed her for that.)
16. Pastor, we trust you.
17. Wanna go fishing? Hunting? Golfing? (Personally, I don’t, but thank you for the thought.)
18. I cannot wait for your next sermon! Good one.
19. Your sermon on forgiveness was exactly what I needed. I’ve gone to my brother-in-law and asked his forgiveness.
20. The business meetings have been so much more harmonious since you came.
21. I want to replace your broken windshield. Or wash your car. Or change your oil.