So often today folks go to church, have a cup of coffee, joke with some friends, sit and listen, then try to be the first in line at the Sunday lunch restaurant. Now of course there are a lot of folks who also get to church early, set up chairs, stay after and tear down. Some men are Deacons and Elders and meet during the week. A healthy church has a lot of moving parts and most rely on the solid leadership of the one guy who gets beat on the most, your pastor.
Now I don’t think most of us will ever hear our pastor complain about the hardships he faces, the long days and calls, emails and text he gets. The hospital visits, the weddings, the counselling and the meetings. Not to mention his sermons and study time to write a good sermon. I remember once my Pastor buddy told me about his Mondays and how he was dealing with weariness, the thoughts of how he could have done better with his sermon Sunday, a comment someone made on the way out the door. It really opened my eyes to the hardships they face personally in their hearts and minds.
Some fun facts for you. 72% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week.
84% of pastors feel they are on call 24/7. 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. Many pastor’s children do not attend church now because of what the church has done to their parents. 65% of pastors feel their family lives in a “glass house” and fear they are not good enough to meet expectations. 23% of pastors report being distant to their family.
78% of pastors report having their vacation and personal time interrupted with ministry duties or expectations.65% of pastors feel they have not taken enough vacation time with their family over the last 5 years. Oh and this goes on and on. So, let’s talk about how we can help.
Here are 5 things you can do to help your pastor live a bit easier.
- Give him a kind word before and after his sermon. Don’t stop him in the hall and hold him hostage for 20 minutes. He is trying to get backstage or to the music minister. Say hi, a hug maybe. A nice text on Monday after with kind words about the service are huge. Don’t use this to complain about the one little thing you saw or thought. I know you want to discuss the level of sound coming from the band but save it. Make an appointment with his secretary.
- Be a giver of time and money. The church has bills. Internet, electric, cleaning supplies, computer issues, insurance, salaries and it goes on. It has to operate like a business in a lot of areas and for that they need money. It is real. Give your tithes regularly, they are not blowing money. Most churches are really frugal. Your time is essential. Mow the grass, set up chairs, offer to help drive the youth or change the oil in the church van. It all matters and if not you then who?
- Join a committee. These are the folks who are volunteering to get things done. Never, ever, never complain about something you are not willing to roll up your sleeves and help fix. No one needs you to assign them homework or projects. If you see something that needs to get done then volunteer to do it if the rest of the committee or your pastor agrees.
- Do not talk behind his back. If you have a complaint, face it. Set up an appointment and go talk about it. Telling folks your complaints and concerns before you talk directly to your pastor can cause huge separations in a church family. Do not do it. And by the way it is NOT biblical to gossip. Deal with the issues head on like a healthy adult.
- If you want to start a ministry know it may not be the vision of your pastor. Many pastors are visionaries. They have an idea of where they think God is calling the church. Now I think pastors who do not recognize the heart of a man who is called to a certain ministry, like KOZ for example, can be really hurtful to the guy. But if you do get the go ahead don’t burden your pastor with details he does not need to concern himself with. Don’t ask for funding and stage time. Take the training, start your group, rescue some boys. Then share a few stories over an ice tea with him. Thank him for letting you start.
We pride ourselves in KOZ to be self-sufficient. We are just a group of men in the church who rally together, use the KOZ materials and our hearts and go rescue boys. It doesn’t have to be a huge money thing. The boys just want time with you and your posse. For more on starting a KOZ group in your church go to www.KidsOutdoorZone.com.
Your pastor may be, is probably the least thanked and most over worked person in your church. Love on him without expectations. Love on his family they need it too. He has been called to one of the toughest jobs in the world and needs backup. Be that guy.