Last Sunday during the sermon our pastor told about a dinner table conversation he had with his family. As a church we are going through the book I Am A Church Member and our pastor is preaching a sermon based upon each chapter. In this particular chapter of the book the author, Thom Rainer, shares some of the things that pastors often hear over the course of their ministry. He included things people say like: “I’m the one who pays your salary” or “I’ll be here long after you’re gone.” Our pastor’s kids asked him if he’d ever heard any of those things. Well, he and his wife just looked at each other and laughed. A good portion of the congregation laughed too. Those things are ridiculous to say to a pastor and most church members would rightfully shake their heads wondering how someone who claimed the name of Christ could say such things to the person called by God to lead them.
I didn’t laugh. Even though our pastor told the story in a humorous manner I understand how hurtful those statements can be. How they can tempt a pastor to take his focus off of following the leading of the Holy Spirit and instead endeavor to be a people pleaser.
So, on this Saturday evening as some of you prepare to head to your churches tomorrow morning, I would ask you to consider how you talk to and about your pastor. Do your words build him up? Do the things you say about him make it easier for him to minister or harder? Would you say those things about him if he were standing in the same room with you? What about if his wife or children were there to hear it? Do you pray for your pastor and that God would use him mightily to advance the kingdom? I’ve actually heard of church members who pray AGAINST their pastors! Imagine how discouraging that must be to a pastor to hear that some of the people under his care pray not that God would use him mightily but that God would send him packing!
So don’t be that person who belittles your pastor. Be the person who befriends him. Don’t be the person who is a constant critic. Be the person who intercedes for the pastor in prayer. Tomorrow at the close of the service try telling your pastor “thanks” and that you pray for him regularly. It will bless him and encourage him when there are voices that would try to bring him down.